Panera Tomato Basil Bread Recipe


Panera Bread is a popular chain of bakery-cafes in North America, known for its freshly baked bread, pastries, and sandwiches. One of Panera’s most popular bread varieties is the Tomato Basil bread. 

It is a savory bread that incorporates the flavors of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and garlic. With its irresistible taste and beautiful appearance, it’s no wonder that this bread is a favorite.

Panera Tomato Basil Bread is well known for its delicious and flavorfulness. This bread is a perfect blend of tangy Tomato and aromatic basil herbs. It’s a perfect bread for sandwiches, soups, or as a side to any meal.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

Here are some of the ingredients needed to make Panera Tomato Basil Bread at home

  • 1 ¼ cups of warm water
  • 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 25g of vegetable oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ¼ cups of dried tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup of fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon salt

For the topping:

  • ½ cup of Tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh basil

Equipment Needed:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing spoon
  • Pastry brush
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Bread knife

However, it’s important to note that the water temperature should be 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit to activate the yeast properly. Additionally, bread flour is recommended for this recipe because it has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, resulting in a better rise and texture.

On the other hand, The dried tomatoes and fresh basil add flavor to the bread, while the tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and fresh basil make for a delicious topping.

Step-by-step instructions on How To Make Panera Tomato Basil Bread 

There’s nothing quite like a freshly baked loaf of bread, and Panera’s Tomato Basil Bread is a personal favorite of mine. The combination of tangy tomatoes and fragrant basil creates a deliciously savory flavor that’s perfect for any occasion. And the best part? It’s surprisingly easy to make at home.

Step 1: Activate the yeast

Combine warm water, active dry yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir well and sit for 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy and the yeast is activated.

Step 2: Add the remaining ingredients

Add vegetable oil, bread flour, finely chopped dried tomatoes, finely chopped fresh basil, and salt to the bowl with the yeast mixture. Mix well until a sticky dough forms.

Step 3: Knead the dough

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

Step 4: Shape the dough

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch the risen dough down and shape it into a round or oval loaf. Place the loaf onto the prepared baking sheet.

Step 5: Add the topping

Using a pastry brush, spread tomato sauce over the top of the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil on top.

Step 6: Bake

Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Tips And Tricks For Making The Perfect Panera Tomato Basil Bread At Home 

Are you ready to impress your friends and family with homemade Panera Tomato Basil Bread? Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the perfect loaf at home!

1. Use quality ingredients

The key to delicious bread is to use quality ingredients. Use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour, and make sure your dried tomatoes are of good quality. Fresh basil is also a must for the best flavor.

2. Be patient with the rise

Letting the dough rise properly is essential for a light, airy loaf. Be patient and let it double in size before shaping and baking.

3. Don’t overwork the dough

Knead the dough just enough to make it smooth and elastic. Overworking the dough can result in dense, tough bread.

4. Customize the toppings

While the traditional Panera Tomato Basil Bread is topped with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and basil, feel free to experiment with other toppings. Add sliced olives, roasted garlic, or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for added heat.

5. Use a baking stone

Use a baking stone instead of a baking sheet for the crispiest crust. Preheat the stone in the oven before placing the shaped dough on top.

6. Activate the yeast

Ensure that the yeast is activated before putting in other ingredients. This will enable the bread to rise very well.

Nutritional Benefits of Panera Tomato Basil Bread

Bursting with sun-ripened tomatoes and aromatic basil flavors, this bread satisfies the taste buds and offers several nutritional benefits.

  • Whole Grain Goodness: Panera Tomato Basil Bread is primarily made from whole grains, which means it retains the natural fiber and nutrients in the entire grain. Whole grains are rich in dietary fiber, which promotes digestive health and helps maintain a feeling of fullness. The fiber content in this bread can aid in weight management and support a healthy digestive system.
  • Essential Macronutrients: This flavorful bread provides essential macronutrients for a well-rounded diet. It contains a moderate amount of protein, essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. Additionally, it offers a good balance of carbohydrates, supplying energy to fuel your day.
  • Lycopene from Tomatoes: Including sun-ripened tomatoes in Panera Tomato Basil Bread is a nutritional bonus. Tomatoes are known for their high content of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene has been linked to various health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain types of cancer and supporting heart health. Incorporating lycopene-rich foods, like tomatoes, into your diet is smart, and this bread offers a convenient and delicious way.
  • Flavorful Basil: Basil, a fragrant herb widely used in Mediterranean cuisine, adds flavor to this bread. Basil contains essential oils that offer antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a rich source of vitamins A and K and minerals like potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are vital in maintaining healthy vision, supporting bone health, and promoting proper heart function.
  • Low in Sodium: Many commercially available bread can be high in sodium, contributing to health issues like high blood pressure. Panera Tomato Basil Bread stands out by being relatively low in sodium compared to other bread options. This can be especially beneficial for individuals watching their sodium intake or trying to reduce their overall sodium consumption.

Panera Tomato Basil Bread Is Best Served With

Panera Tomato Basil Bread is a must-have for any bread lover, whether enjoying it as a side with your favorite soup or sandwich or using it to create a delicious bruschetta or crostini.

  • Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
  • Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Sandwich
  • Bruschetta
  • Caprese Salad
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Spinach and Artichoke Dip
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
  • Tomato Basil Bruschetta Chicken
  • Italian Panini
  • Tomato Basil Bread Pudding

Storage Tips for Panera Tomato Basil Bread

Like all bread, it’s important to properly store Panera’s Tomato Basil Bread to ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible.

  • Store it in a Bread Box: Investing in a bread box is an excellent way to keep your Panera Tomato Basil Bread fresh. Bread boxes provide a cool, dark, and well-ventilated environment that helps prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to mold growth. Plus, they add a charming touch to your kitchen decor!
  • Wrap it in a Tea Towel: Fear not if you don’t have a bread box! Wrapping your Tomato Basil Bread in a clean tea towel is another effective method. This helps maintain the bread’s moisture balance while allowing it to breathe. Wrap the bread loosely and store it in a dry, cool place.
  • Avoid Refrigeration: Refrigeration may seem like a good idea to prolong the shelf life of your bread, but it’s not recommended for the Panera Tomato Basil Bread. The cold temperature can cause the bread to dry out faster and lose its fluffy texture. Keep it at room temperature for optimal taste and texture.
  • Freeze for Long-Term Storage: If you want to store your Tomato Basil Bread for an extended period, freezing is the way to go. Slice the bread into portions before freezing to make it easier to defrost and enjoy later. Wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place them in a freezer-safe bag. Thaw it at room temperature when ready, or toast it for a warm, crispy treat.
  • Avoid Exposing it to Moisture: Bread, including the Panera Tomato Basil Bread, tends to absorb moisture quickly, making it soggy and unappetizing. To prevent this, store your bread away from areas of high humidity, such as near the sink or stove. Additionally, avoid using plastic bags for storage, as they can trap moisture and promote mold growth.
  • Use a Bread Slicer or Sharp Knife: When cutting your Tomato Basil Bread, use a bread slicer or a sharp serrated knife. These tools will help you achieve clean, even slices without crushing or tearing the bread’s delicate texture. It’s all about presentation and ensuring each piece is as delightful to look at as it is to devour!
  • Enjoy it Fresh or Toasted: Finally, remember that Panera Tomato Basil Bread is best enjoyed fresh or toasted. If you have leftovers, toasting the slices can revive their crispy crust and enhance their flavor. Spread some butter or your favorite toppings, and you’re in for a tasty treat.

Can I make Panera Tomato Basil Bread without a Bread Machine?

Yes, you can make Panera Tomato Basil Bread without a bread machine. The recipe can be prepared using a stand mixer with a dough hook or even by hand. Mix the ingredients, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, allow it to rise, shape it into a loaf, and bake it in the oven. Follow the recipe instructions for specific details on the process.

Can I freeze Panera Tomato Basil Bread?

Panera Tomato Basil Bread freezes exceptionally well. Once cooled, slice the bread and place it in an airtight freezer bag or container. Ensure all air is removed to prevent freezer burn. When ready to enjoy it, thaw the slices at room temperature or gently reheat them in the oven.

The bread will retain its flavor and texture, allowing you to savor the deliciousness whenever you desire.

Can I Substitute fresh Basil with Dried Basil in the Recipe?

You can substitute fresh basil with dried basil in the Panera Tomato Basil Bread recipe. However, it’s important to note that the flavor may not be as vibrant as fresh basil. Use one-third of the amount of dried basil compared to fresh basil called for in the recipe. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, use 1 teaspoon of dried basil instead. Adjust the amount to your taste preferences.

Panera Tomato Basil Bread Recipe

Panera Tomato Basil Bread is a delightful artisan-style bread infused with the flavors of sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil. It features a soft interior and a golden crust, making it perfect for sandwiches or enjoyed on its own. This recipe allows you to recreate the mouthwatering taste of Panera's signature bread right in your own kitchen.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 120 kcal

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing spoon
  • Pastry brush
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Bread knife

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ¼ cups of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ¼ cups of dried tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup of fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Combine warm water, active dry yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir well and sit for 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy and the yeast is activated.
  • Add vegetable oil, bread flour, finely chopped dried tomatoes, finely chopped fresh basil, and salt to the bowl with the yeast mixture. Mix well until a sticky dough forms.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch the risen dough down and shape it into a round or oval loaf. Place the loaf onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Using a pastry brush, spread tomato sauce over the top of the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil on top.
  • Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Video

Keyword Bruschetta, dried tomatoes, Tomato Basil Soup, vegetable oil

Conclusion

The Panera Tomato Basil Bread recipe is a delightful treat that brings the flavors of a beloved restaurant to your kitchen. This homemade bread will impress with its fragrant aroma, soft texture, and a burst of tomato and basil flavors.

Whether you enjoy it on its own, as a sandwich base, or paired with your favorite soup, this recipe offers a versatile and delicious option

2 thoughts on “Panera Tomato Basil Bread Recipe”

    1. Hi there! I totally understand your concern, and I appreciate your attention to detail. You’re absolutely right to double-check the measurements, as accurate measurements are crucial in cooking, especially when replicating a recipe. In this particular Panera Bread recipe, I can confirm that it’s indeed 2 teaspoons of the yeast.

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