A lovely bread from Italy using traditional flavourings of basil and tomato.Basil, though a native of India and Persia,is now particularly associated with Italian cooking. The herb works well with any tomato dish hot or cold.
Recipe adapted from the book" Recipes From Around The World".
White bread flour-275 g
Dried yeast-1 tsp
Olive oil-2 tbsp
Parmesan cheese-25 g
Tomato puree-2 tbsp
Warm water-175 ml
Basil leaves-1 tbsp
Combine the water,tomato puree and olive oil. In a large bowl combine flour,yeast,sugar and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients along with basil,knead it to form a smooth dough.Cover the bowl and leave it to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
When the dough is risen knock the air back,sprinkle the cheese on top,knead the dough on the surface until the cheese is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic.Shape the dough into a large round and put on the baking sheet,cover with a clean towl and allow it to rise for about 35 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 230 degree celsius.
Using a sharp knife,cut a large cross on top of the loaf. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and base sounds hollow when tapped. Turn it onto a wire rack to cool.
Serve the bread with Italian salad and cheese.