Jun 7
2009

Tomato Basil Bread: Bringing a fun day in L.A. back home to my kitchen.

in Uncategorized

Last Thursday I drove to L.A. to attend a cooking class at the Farmer’s Market Sur La Table store, sponsored by Zojirushi, called “Easy Meals for Families.”
The class focused on items that could be prepared using a rice cooker and a bread maker. The instructor demonstrated a tomato basil bread, a meatloaf (done in the breadmaker!),
how to make proper sushi rice,
a BLT sushi roll,
and how to roll your own sushi.
There were also several other types of bread and foods for us to sample. Then we had the opportunity to make our own sushi and a large variety of ingredients were provided.
I wasted no time in making one of my favorites, a spicy tuna roll.
It was fun to meet some other bloggers, including Kim of House of Prince,
and Sweat Pants Mom.
I have to say that up until this point, I have been a bread snob. Mr. Fuji gave me a breadmaker for Christmas one year during law school. I used it a couple of times and just wasn’t happy with the results, so it ended up getting put in storage when we moved to Japan. After pulling it out to make DadChops rolls, and after sampling the breads at the class on Thursday, I may be starting to change my mind. Although I prefer to make bread by hand, and would love to be able to do so each and every time, the reality is that I am the busy mom of two active little Fujilings, and my time is limited. So here I am, publicly stating that I am opening myself up to the idea of making bread in my breadmaker. I will continue to make bread by hand at least once a week, but I think my breadmaker is going to start getting a regular workout. Another thing that has helped me reach this decision is a bit of basic math. If you sit down and calculate how much you spend on bread at the grocery store, as opposed to how much you spend if you were to make the majority of your bread at home, the numbers speak volumes. Making your own bread at home is significantly cheaper, especially these days as the cost of food seems to continually be rising.

On Friday I pulled out the recipe for tomato basil bread from the class, put the ingredients into the breadmaker, crossed my fingers, and hit START.
I was pleasantly surprised to have the loaf come out looking beautiful (though bread made in a breadmaker will never be as beautiful as handmade!) and smelling incredible. I think that basil is a smell I could bottle up and get high off of.
The loaf was dense and moist, with a beautiful orangey red color to it.
We rapidly made our way through the entire loaf, just by slicing it up and eating the slices spread with butter.
I could make this bread several times a week and never get tired of it. However, Zojirushi has a bunch of other bread recipes on their website that I want to try, so I guess I’ll have to only make it once a week. In fact, as I’m typing this, I’ve got a loaf of Rosemary Cranberry Whole Wheat Bread baking in the bread maker.

Tomato Basil Bread
Zojirushi

Makes 1 loaf

1 1/2 cups tomato juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 1/4 cups bread flour (I used regular all-purpose flour because I was out of bread flour)
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. dry milk
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. active dry yeast

1. Measure ingredients precisely and add them to the baking pan in the following order. Make sure the kneading blade(s) are properly attached before adding the ingredients.
a. Liquids (tomato juice and olive oil)
b. Dry ingredients
c. Yeast

2. Insert the Baking Pan into the unit, close the lid and plug the cord into the outlet.

3. Select the BASIC course, and press START.

4. When baking completes, take the out the baking pan using oven mitts and gently shake the loaf out. Let bread cool and serve.

Coming Tomorrow: Washoku Warriors

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }



Emily June 7, 2009 at 4:32 pm

I make my family's everyday bread exclusively in the breadmaker. At least on the dough cycle and then pull it out and bake it in the oven. They actually prefer it to my "fancy" bread I make by hand and I don't spend nearly as much time on it. Plus we get fresh bread every day!

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Jenn June 7, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I can't believed it missed that. and I live close by to. Darn. Maybe next time. That bread looks delish!

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K and S June 7, 2009 at 4:59 pm

looks so good!

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Fuji Nana June 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm

I hope you're going to tell us how the Rosemary Cranberry bread turns out. That sounds divine!

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Jackie June 7, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Confession: I love bread makers and rice cookers and can't live without them! These recipes look especially yummy but I've always worried about doing anything overly flavorful or meaty in either machine as I would hate for any lingering tastes to transfer over to the next batch… You'll have to let me know if that is ever a problem for you.

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KTP June 7, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I totally went home and made bread in my breadmaker, too! Although not the tomato kind. Thanks for the spectacular pix! It was so nice meeting you.

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Fuji Nana June 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I tried out this recipe right after you posted it. Mine was SPECTACULAR. The flavor combinations are wonderful! This is definitely a keeper.

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