Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Bread

20130409-171730.jpgToday’s post is inspired by wanting to break the mold of my go-to whole wheat bread recipes.  I have a couple of good, solid bread recipes that I love.  But, I was wanting try something new.  I started thinking about other great tasting breads that I have eaten and my mind took a leap of remembrance to Panera Bread’s Tomato Basil bread.  I have absolutely no idea how Panera makes their bread, and haven’t eaten it in a while.  But once I started thinking about the possibility of making something like it, I really couldn’t get my mind off of it.  I figured that it couldn’t be too hard.

This recipe makes 2 loaves.  I figure if you are going to go to all of the effort of making one loaf, you may as well make 2 {or 3…or 4…} and then freeze them for those days that you aren’t really in a baking mood, but just in an eatin’ mood.  {I won’t even tell you how many loaves of bread I made the other day!  Well, okay…I will.  It was 12.  But, it was 3 different types of bread.  And we have 8 people that normally eat in this house.  Plus, I was in the mood to bake.  And I figured I should stock up for those days ahead where I wouldn’t be in the mood for bread baking. And I know you aren’t supposed to start sentences with “and.”  Okay, that’s all I’ve got…for now anyway.}

So, I hope you enjoy my rendition of Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Bread.  I think it is pretty tasty, and am sure you will too!  As always, enjoy! -Shelley.

Whole Wheat Tomato Basil Bread  {makes 2 loaves}

*Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2 1/4 c warm water
1 T yeast
6 T brown sugar + a little more for sprinkling on top of loaves
5 1/2 – 6 c freshly ground whole wheat white flour
4 T vital wheat gluten {makes for a softer, chewier whole wheat loaf of bread}
1 T salt
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
4 T dried basil
6 T tomato paste
1/4 c olive oil
1 egg, beaten for egg wash {optional}

Start off by grinding some white wheat berries in The WonderMill on “Pastry” setting.  4 cups of wheat berries = about 6 cups of flour.



Add 6 T of lightly packed brown sugar to warm water.


Sprinkle yeast in sugar to allow yeast to proof for a few minutes, until bubbly.



Once yeast has proofed, add mixture to electric mixer {I used my Bosch mixer with dough kneader attachment.}  Add olive oil…and tomato paste…


Add salt, basil, garlic powder, onion powder and vital wheat gluten…


Then give a little mix.


Add half of flour and mix until it is all incorporated.


Next, add remaining flour a little bit at a time, mixing in between additions until dough just pulls away from side of bowl.



I like, when I touch my finger to the dough, for it to still have some tackiness to it.


Knead for 8-10 minutes in mixer, or 10-15 minutes if kneading by hand.


When kneading is finished, using oiled hands shape dough into a large ball.  Place in oiled mixing bowl and cover with clear plastic wrap.


Allow to sit in a warm place until dough has doubled in size.


Turn out onto a clean surface and separate into 2 pieces.  With well oiled hands, shape into loaves, working air bubbles gently out as you shape into loaves.


I made one loaf in a bread pan…


And one as a round loaf.


Allow to rise until about doubled.  If desired, beat one egg and use as an egg wash on the top of the loaves.  This makes for a shinier top crust.



Then, sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on the top of the loaves for a little something extra.


If desired, using a sharp knife cut a “cross” in the top of a round loaf, or a straight line down the center of the pan loaf {although, the latter didn’t turn out exactly as I had envisioned.  Oh well.}



Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Take out and allow to cool for just a minute before cooling the rest of the way on a cooling rack.




As soon as the bread is cooled, if not eating right away, place in a one gallon plastic bag.  I would suggest if you aren’t going to eat the second loaf within about a day to freeze for retaining it’s freshness.  When ready to eat, remove from the freezer and allow to defrost….wa-lah – fresh bread!


About Shelley @ FoodandWord

Shelley is a wife, mom of four incredible kids and a follower of Jesus. She likes to cook and bake and isn't afraid to cook without having a recipe in hand to start with. She likes variety in her ingredients and tries to be healthy when she can, but isn't afraid of making the "not so good for you" foods, either.

She and her family have recently moved to “the farm" with her in-laws on the old family homestead. Her children are the 6th generation of family to live in this beautiful place – smack dab in the middle of The Flint Hills of Kansas! They are learning to enjoy living in the beauty of God’s creation, and trying to teach their children to live off the land as much as they can. Living with chickens, a dog, many outside farm cats and the regular appearance of deer in the garden across the road have brought a suprise every day. 

Her hope is that you all will enjoy whatever inspiration and/or creation that comes from her blog. Whether it comes in the form of food to eat or from the Word of God to ingest, either way both are sure to fill you up!

FoodAndWord Blog

Challenge Experience: "Among the many gifts that God gives us in life, the ability to create and give good food to your loved ones is one of the most rewarding. Being a part of the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge has given me the opportunity to share with others some of the whole grain foods I have been able to make for my family and has been a great experience. The WonderMill has been a wonderful resource for generating creativity in my kitchen, encouraging family time while cooking, and bringing wholesome goodness to our table. I'm a grateful traveler on this Grain Mill Wagon journey. Thank you!"

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