Thursday, June 10, 2010

Upside Down Tomato Basil Bread

There you go, the title says it all, doesn't it?! I made this recipe the first time last year at the very end of the tomato season, we liked it so much that I could not wait to make it again.
With two vases full of bright green amazing fresh basil and the first tomatoes coming in my CSA box yesterday this bread was something I could not pass up.
The dough is super simple to make, just mix everything, let it rest, open and use - plus the dough is wonderful to work with, really lovely dough.
Filling and topping are also easy and quick to put together. It takes a bit of time to wait for the dough to rise so you need to keep that in mind, but other than that this is a bread that is not only pretty and tasty, but it is also fun to make and eat.
The process of making this bread is similar to that of making cinnamon rolls, so after it is baked you can grab individual little buns filled with basil and Parmesan cheese and topped with bright and fresh ripened tomatoes. Do I need to say more?!
The recipe I got from the blog Simmer Till Done and basically I followed the recipe as is! My only thing yesterday was that I didn't have enough cheese for both dough and filling, so I only used in the filling. It was pretty flavorful and cheesy that way, I didn't hear one single complain, only "yums" and "this bread is really good" (the husband is a carb lover, he even remembered this one from last year, big thumbs up!)
I will post here how I made it, but take a peek at Marilyn's post, the pictures she has from her bread are really nice! Here is her post: Upside Down Tomato Basil Bread
This is a great snack to use up basil and summer tomatoes!

Can you see the layers of basil goodness in there?!

Upside Down Tomato and Basil Bread
(Adapted from the blog Simmer Till Done)

1 package (2 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat, half white flour on my rolls)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper


4 – 5 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 cup shredded (or grated) Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (I didn't measure it, just added to taste)

Tomato Topping

3 large or 4 small-medium tomatoes

To make dough: put yeast and warm water in a bowl, mix with a fork and let stand for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, cheese (if using) and mix well, add 2 cups of flour and mix well with a fork or wooden spoon, keep adding more flour until you can gather the dough with your hands. Add flour only until the dough forms into a nice smooth ball. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic (or a towel) and let it rest for 1 hour, or until it doubles in size/volume.

For the filling mix all ingredients in a small bowl, set aside.

For the topping: remove seeds and coarsely chop the tomatoes, set them in a colander to remove any excess moisture as you prepare everything else.
I seasoned my tomatoes with salt and pepper before putting in the pan, but that is optional.

Preheat oven to 375 F, lightly oil a 10 inch round pan, cover the bottom of it with a round of parchment paper (makes it easier to remove the bread later on!) and lightly oil the paper itself.
Spread the tomatoes on the bottom of the pan and set aside.
On a floured surface, gently roll the dough into a rectangle of about 11 x 24 inches. Spread gently the basil and cheese filling on the surface of the dough. Roll the dough on the long edge as a log, make sure to roll it gently but tightly, as not to leave air bubbles. Cut the roll into 1 inch slices and place slices with the cut side down on the prepared pan with the tomatoes.
Put pan over a sheet pan (just in case of any drippings occur) and slide into the oven. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the rolls look golden on top.
Cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, invert onto a big plate and serve!

Note: if you would like your tomatoes to caramelize you can slide the inverted bread into the oven with the broiler turned on for about 2 minutes - I skipped this step!
Also, you can let the dough rise a second time for about 20 minutes (while your oven preheats perhaps!) after placing the rolls in the pan, I also skipped this step as I didn't even realize it was in the recipe. It turned out great without this step, so I am not complaining about my little shortcut!


The Food Hunter said...

What an interesting bread!!

Akemi said...

Nossa, Ana, que idéia surpreendente e original! Adorei e vou experimentar na primeira oportunidade! Bjss

Cris said...

Ana... amei esta receita... vou fazer aqui com certeza! E contando os dias... dia 29 estarei aí!!! Beijos!

Kim (Liv Life) said...

I was just reading about that one on the CLBB... tomatoes just came in at our local Farmer's Market as well and I think I'll have to add this to our menu!

brisa said...

OMG Ana!!!! Qto tempo eu nao vinha aqui..e que pao delicioooosoooo!! Vou fazer:)

Bjs amiga..Saudades.