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Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Bread

This image courtesy of Mark T. Shapiro

This is a great bread to have with a big helping of pasta!

NotesIf you can only find sun-dried tomatoes that are not packed in oil, make sure you soften them by placing them in a dish of hot water and soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry before using.

Makes2 loaves

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentfood processor

Taste and Texturechewy, herby, salty, savory, sweet

Type of Dishbread, yeast bread

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained (see Notes)
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) milk
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups (750 mL) bread flour (approx.)
  • 1 package (¼ oz/8 g) quick-rising (instant) dry yeast
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1 egg
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Baking sheet, lined with parchment paper

Instructions

  1. In work bowl fitted with metal blade, process sun-dried tomatoes and basil until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring milk and butter to a simmer until an instant-read thermometer registers approximately 120° to 130°F (50° to 55°C), about 3 minutes. Do not let boil.

  3. Meanwhile, in clean work bowl fitted with metal dough blade, add 2 cups (500 mL) of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt and process until well combined, about 15 seconds. With the motor running, slowly pour hot milk mixture through the feed tube into the work bowl. Add egg and process until incorporated, about 20 seconds. With the motor continuing to run, add sun-dried tomato mixture until incorporated. With the motor running, spoon additional flour through the feed tube, ¼ cup (50 mL) at a time, until dough pulls away from sides and begins to gather and a soft, not sticky, dough forms, about 90 seconds.

  4. Remove dough from work bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. Shape into a ball. Transfer to a large oiled bowl and turn to coat all over. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doublein volume, about 45 to 90 minutes, depending on humidity and heat factors.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Punch down dough and form into two round loaves. Place on prepared baking sheet, at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm, draft-free place until they rise slightly, 20 to 30 minutes. Bake in preheated ovenuntil light brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

  6. Variation: If fresh basil is unavailable or too expensive, use Italian parsley instead.

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