There are few things to remember when making bread: Always use the best ingredients. Since bread consists of so few ingredients, you want to use the best.
Not all flour is the same. Personally, I prefer White Lily for all my baking.
I like to use kosher salt. Although a bit more expensive than table salt, it has no added preservatives. It is just pure salt.
This Tomato Basil Bread is a simple batter bread that when finished will taste anything but simple.
Tomato Basil Bread
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons finely diced spring onions
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg white
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese, sugar, onions, baking soda, basil, and salt. Mix well.
Add the sour cream, milk, tomatoes, and melted butter. Stir just until moistened.
Turn out onto a fairly heavily floured surface and knead about 10 times. Divide dough in half.
Form each half into a 4 1/2-inch round loaf. Grease a baking sheet and place the loaves on the baking sheet about 3 inches apart.
Brush the top of each loaf with the egg white.
Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Cut an X into each loaf about 1/2 inch deep.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely before cutting.
While the bread is baking, combine the spread ingredients to use after the bread is baked.
Kathy Coffey is food writer and owner of the website Mamas Southern Cooking. For more recipes visit: www.mamas-southern-cooking.com
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