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Tomato Basil Bread and OMG The Hunger Games!

This bread was probably the easiest bread I have made in awhile.  This bread was just OK.  I found the recipe on and they say to eat this bread with soup.  Soup wasn’t on my menu last week.

Then I decided to make a grilled cheese with it and to use my husband’s provolone as opposed to my usual cheddar.  Did I tell you that this was the BEST BREAD EVER?  I love this bread for that grilled cheese!  It probably would have been good for a soup too, especially if you are a dipper.  The flavor profile was that of a caprese sandwich but I didn’t have any mozzarella on hand so it was not a true caprese.  (Okay, I did have shredded but I didn’t realize it till I started writing this post, dangit!)  I challenge you to make this bread and make a grilled cheese with mozzarella plus put basil and tomatoes INSIDE!  I would have, but I used all the basil I had for the bread and haven’t had a new tomato growing for awhile.  The best thing about this bread was that my super duper picky Sarah, ate the grilled cheese without comment or pause.  This is the girl that can find the teeniest tiniest onion and pull it out of whatever she is eating with her pinky and give it to me because she isn’t willing to eat it.

I think, even though it is so simple, that it is a grilled cheese worthy of Closet Cooking.  The man can cook and he has TONS of great recipes.  However, he is the “go to guy” if you are looking to change up your grilled cheese.  The man is obsessed!  His pictures and variations on grilled cheese are pure magic for a lover of comfort food.

My GeekyLink for this week is the The Hunger Games trailer!  Ahhh!  I have watched it about three times so far and have teared up every time.  First of all, great book.  Read it!  Second of all, I love the way the trailer was done.  They show SO MUCH of the beginning and end it at the Cornicopia (the beginning of the Games themselves).  I thought it was just a great way to do it.  You might also want to check out the Entertainment Weekly breakdown of the trailer ‘Hunger Games’: Let’s Dissect the Trailer!

I was debating whether or not to have my eight year old read the books.  This, however, is no ordinary eight year old.  She finished all of the Harry Potter books in about nine months and that is including time off in the summer.  There is some hard stuff in those books.  However (Spoiler Alert!), I guess nothing like picking 24 young people to kill each other on TV.  I was going to take her to see it anyway, though.  Plus, if it is worth Scholastic Points, she will be willing (It is.  It is even in her book order, she is going to order them with the money she was awarded for having the most Scholastic Points for the first trimester).  I love that kid.

Tomato Basil Bread

adapted from


1 package ( ) active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water ( 110° to 115° )

1/4 cup fresh basil, minced (substitute with 2 tablespoons dried)

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (I used a combo of shredded and grated)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 1/4-2 2/3 cups bread flour

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in basil, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, sugar, oil, salt, pepper flakes and 2 cups flour. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough.  Knead for 1 minute.  Shape into a round loaf.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
With a sharp knife, cut a large “X” in top of loaf. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.

About NerdyBaker

My name is Celina. I am a wife and mother of three. I love to bake, go to the movies, read when I can and I am kind of a great big nerd. Just don't tell my husband.

13 responses »

  1. Pingback: Pesto Bread with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Some Halloween Goodies « * NerdyBaker *

  2. *love* the hunger games! and i love home made bread grilled cheese!!

  3. Stumbled across your site. This bread looks amazing. My daughter is eagerly awaiting the Hunger Games movie as well. She just finished book one and is well into book 2. I’m going to start reading them this weekend. The movie trailer is fantastic!

  4. Hunger Games are next on my to-read list. Excited about them! That grilled cheese sandwich looks fabulous!!!!

    • When my daughter gets her book order in, guess what I am rereading? I can’t wait and she is going to wait a little anyways because she is in the middle of another series. And that grilled cheese WAS fabulous, I cannot wait to make it again and make it with mozzarella, tomato, and basil inside!

  5. Homemade bread is so good for use in grilled cheese sandwiches!


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