This breads' chewy crust pairs well with a steaming mug of soup. The pretty color and robust flavor are a great pairing with chicken or turkey cold cuts or a summer tomato sandwich. I use this basic recipe in my bread machine using the dough cycle; following my bread machines instructions. I then bake it in the oven. I also omit the red pepper flakes and, at times, omit the Parmesan cheese and replace it with an additional 1/4 cup of flour. Be careful and add additional flour a little at a time depending on the humidity in your kitchen.
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 3⁄4 cup warm water (110 to 115 )
- 1⁄4 cup fresh basil, minced (substitute with 2 tablespoons dried)
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8-1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 1⁄2-2 3⁄4 cups bread flour
- In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in basil, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, sugar, oil, salt, pepper flakes and 2 cups flour. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down; knead for 1 minute. Shape into a round loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- With a sharp knife, cut a large "X" in top of loaf. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.