This Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bread is the best you'll ever have, guaranteed! It's a fantastic bread for holidays, dinners, or dipping into soup. Make it in the bread machine or by hand. It's made with fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan, and yogurt. This tomato basil bread will leave your kids and guests begging for more!
I was inspired to make this Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bread after seeing a similar tomato basil bread at a farmer's market. Not only did it taste fantastic, but it looked so perfect that I didn't even want to cut into it.
The aroma of basil, tomato, and cheese wrapped up in an orange crust was mouth-watering. I'm glad I did though, because it was amazing!
The first time I made this bread was for Thanksgiving dinner many years ago. It was so popular that I've been asked at every holiday dinner since, "are you bringing the bread?" Of course I am! I've even began gifting it for Christmas!
🍞 Using A Bread Machine
A bread machine is perfect for when you are new to making yeast breads. You simply throw all of your recipe's ingredients in the bread pan, set it to the function you need, and it does all the work for you.
I use it to make pizza dough, croissant dough, various breads, and so much more. It comes with an extensive recipe book too. Making breads and doughs instead of buying them all of the time saves me a ton of money.
I highly recommend investing in a good bread machine if you plan to make bread at home regularly.
💭 Expert Tips
When substituting all purpose flour for bread flour, make a 1:1 substitution.
Substituting whole wheat flour is a bit trickier, although easy if you understand a few basic points about baking with whole wheat flour. You can see how to use whole wheat flour here.
While you can swap bread flour for all purpose flour or whole wheat flour, it won't produce the same soft chewy bread. For breads that need time to rise, bread flour is the best flour to use. It has a higher amount of protein and gluten, which creates a chewy, airy bread.
You can use active, instant or bread machine yeast. When using the different yeasts, you'll see insignificant, if any, differences in the texture or shape of the bread.
To create a browned crust, brush the risen dough with milk, egg, or water before baking. My preference is to use milk for a golden brown, slightly crisp crust and egg for a golden brown and shiny crust.
There are many reasons that a yeast bread doesn't rise. Room temperature, liquid temperature, altitude, dead yeast, and liquid to dry ingredient ratios all contribute to how well bread rise. For more details on why your bread may not have risen and what to do about it, see this post.
Bread machine Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bread uses these ingredients:
- Sun dried tomatoes: sun dried tomatoes in oil or water or those that are ready to eat. Just make sure that you rinse off any oil and absorb extra water with a paper towel before adding them to the bread pan.
- Water + plain yogurt: to make a liquid yogurt mixture
- Bread flour: substituting with all purpose will not significantly change the texture but will ever so slightly reduce it's chewiness and rise.
- Fresh basil: substitute with dried basil if absolutely necessary, but fresh basil gives the bread a much better taste.
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Active dry or instant yeast: can also use bread machine yeast. There is no need to proof the yeast before adding it, unless your machine requires this.
📖 Recipe Variations
Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bread can be altered in a few ways if you'd like.
- replace the basil with different herbs, such as parsley, or use a combination of herbs
- before the last rise, break the dough into small personal size balls and bake for 25 minutes to create individual dinner rolls
- sprinkle Parmesan on top during the last 15 minutes of baking
🔪 Step-By-Step Directions
First, heat the water and yogurt until it's steaming, but not boiling. Mix it well so the yogurt is mostly dissolved and then remove from the heat for 5 minutes.
Second, add all ingredients but the tomatoes, basil and parmesan to the bread machine basket in the order your machine requires.
If baking in the bread machine, choose the setting for basic white bread. Press start and when the mix-in sound beeps, add the tomatoes, basil and parmesan.
If baking in the oven, choose the dough setting. Press start and when the mix-in sound beeps, add the tomatoes, basil and parmesan. When the cycle completes, knead the dough a few times, shape into a ball or rectangle, and slice an X into the top. Let the dough rest for 30 more minutes. Then bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Allow your freshly baked tomato basil bread to cool down for about 30 minutes before slicing.
Bread Machine Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Bread
- bread machine
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 ½ cups bread flour
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry or instant yeast
- ¼ cup Parmesan
- ⅓ cup fresh basil, torn
- 3 oz sun-dried tomatoes, cut into small pieces
- In a small saucepan, heat the water and yogurt until steaming, stirring occasionally. Let cool for 5 minutes to 115°. While cooling, soak water or oil off tomatoes if necessary and roughly chop into small pieces.
- In the order your bread machine requires, add all ingredients. For Cuisinart Bread Makers add ingredients to the bread machine in this order: water/yogurt, salt, sugar, flour yeast.
- Set to the basic white bread function. Select 1.5 lb loaf size and choose your crust color. Select start. When the mix-in sound beeps, add the tomatoes, basil, and parmesan. If baking in the oven, set to the dough function and when finished, shape and let rise for 30 minutes. Then bake at 350° for 35 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
🔪 By Hand Instructions
To make Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bread by hand, you'll need a stand mixer. If you don't have one, the Kitchen Aid classic mixer is a great choice.
With the stand mixer method, you will control the "rises", which means covering the bread, putting it in a warm place, and setting a timer. While the stand mixer does the majority of the hands-on kneading, you will have to knead for a few minutes near the end.
Here is how to make Sun Dried Tomato Bread by hand:
- Soak the oil or water off sun-dried tomatoes and cut into small pieces.
- In a saucepan, heat the water and yogurt until steaming, stirring occasionally. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- In a stand mixer, combine 1½ cup flour, salt, sugar, cheese, herbs, and yeast. Add yogurt mixture and tomatoes. Mix on low setting until smooth.
- Add the remaining flour ¼ cup at a time, until the dough is sticky.
- Knead with the dough hook on medium for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the mixer and put in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a heavy cloth and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
- Knead a few more times, then shape into a smooth ball or rectangle. Slice an X on top. Cover and let rise next to the preheating oven for 30 more minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.
You can find the full recipe using the stand mixer here.
🍽 Serving and Storing
Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bread is perfect when enjoyed:
- as a holiday appetizer or table bread
- as a replacement to plain bread when making fresh tomato and mozzarella sandwiches
- toasted with butter
- as a dipping bread for your favorite soup
- at a school or work potluck
- at a dinner party with friends
The bread should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. It keeps for around 6 months in the freezer.
That's all there is making Sun Dried Tomato Basil Bread in the bread machine. I hope you enjoy ti! If you've made it, I'd love to hear how it turned out. Let me know in the comments below.