There are some recipes that are truly loved by the whole family and are always on repeat. This tomato bread, inspired by Italian flavors, is one of them. It is incredibly delicious, easy to make, and celebrates these wonderful summer produce in a simple yet amazing way. The bread acts as a blank canvas on which tomatoes, basil, and olives take center stage, creating an explosion of Mediterranean flavors. Its also completely vegan and can be made gluten and nut-free.
I love using a simple base like bread and customizing it to suit different seasons, tastes and flavors. The same bread which can turn in to a delicious sweet banana bread can also turn in to this savory tomato bread. Tomato bread is just that, bread with pureed tomatoes mixed in. Add basil, olives, pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil and it feels like you are enjoying the sun in Italy! Okay, I am kidding of course but you get the point. Even if you want to make this in the middle of the winter(you should!), just replace the fresh tomatoes with some delicious canned tomatoes and it will be equally amazing.
You can make this in a loaf pan but I decided to make this in a bundt pan. There is something so beautiful about anything baked in a wreath like style. I feel like it instantly elevates any cake or bread!
Quick overview of the ingredients
Tomatoes – Choose good quality ones especially if you can get ones grown in a backyard or from the farmer’s market. If you making this during the non-growing season, I highly recommend good canned tomatoes. I used a combination of Brandywine and Roma in this recipe.
Sun dried tomatoes – These offer a concentrated punch of tomato flavors along with the umami. They also add a wonderful texture to the bread. Drain the oil if using those that are stored in oil. If you want to use the oil as well, ensure you measure the quantity to match the quantity the recipe calls for. If it falls short, just add some olive oil to make up for it.
Basil, Olives and Pine Nuts – These 3 along with tomatoes are a marriage made in gourmet heaven right? Well, they go beautifully with the rich tomato flavors. If you dont want to use olives and pine nuts, I think you can skip them but definitely add the Italian basil. I used pitted black olives but you can use any variety you like if you are going to use them. If you want to replace the pine nuts, I would suggest using sun flower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
Flour, Olive Oil – I just used regular All Purpose flour. Use a good olive oil since it really adds and enhances the flavors. You can also use any neutral tasting oil like avocado or sunflower oil if you choose.
Making the tomato bread
Pureeing the tomatoes – We will start off by adding the fresh tomatoes to the blender and running it until the tomatoes are pureed. Don’t worry about completely pureeing it and its fine to have some little chunks left over. Now, we will add the sun dried tomatoes to the blender. I used julienned sun dried tomatoes that were stored in olive oil. I removed the quantity required while also draining out as much olive oil as possible. If using sun dried tomatoes not stored in oil, you can just manually chop them and add to the pureed tomatoes.
After adding the sun dried tomatoes, I just pulsed the mixture for around 30 seconds until the dried tomatoes are chopped in to smaller pieces . Pour this mixture in to a bowl and keep aside.
In another mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients including flour, baking powder, salt and mix well. Now add in the chopped basil, halved olives and pine buts before combining them. Now add the pureed tomato mixture and the olive oil. Mix until just combined. The batter should be a thick wet consistency similar to a banana or zucchini bread.
Slowly pour in to a well greased bundt cake pan or any pan you are using. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes until done or a tooth pick comes out clean from near the center. Remove from oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before turning over. Serve at room temperate or warmed.
To make it a loaf pan – If you want to make this bread in a loaf pan, keep the same quantities and it will yield 2 loaves when you bake in standard loaf pans. You can also halve the quantities and make one loaf instead. The baking times might vary. I would recommend to check once around the 45 minute mark to see how long it would need to continue baking.
Make it gluten-free – Substitute with 1:1 equivalent gluten free flour like this one. Please note I have not tested this recipe with gluten-free flour. If you do try it, please go ahead and leave a comment which might help other readers.
Make it nut-free -If you want to substitute pine nuts due to allergies, then sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds would work well in this recipe. If you are looking for other nuts to use instead of pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios would all work great.
Make it spicy – I left out adding anything spicy but you can bring some heat by adding red chili flakes or mixing in a teaspoon (or two) of Calabrian chili paste.
How long can you store this bread and serving suggestions
Tomato bread will last for 7-10 days stored in the refrigerator. It tastes best when served warm. I have not tried freezing it myself but I think it should hold up well if you decide to freeze it. Make sure the bread has reached room temperature before wrapping it up in plastic wrap. Place in a freezer safe container and place in the freezer. You can also cut it in to individual sized portions and placing in a freezer safe bag/container before freezing.
My favorite way to eat this is for breakfast. Eat it warm as it is . You can also add a smear of butter(vegan or regular) or ghee to the warm bread before enjoying. This can also be served as appetizer/snack with some cheese or serve it as part of a cheese board.
Some vegan flavor combinations that you can try with the tomato bread
- Mash an avocado: Mash a ripe avocado with a squeeze of lime juice, flaky salt and top with chili flakes. Spread this creamy avocado mixture on your tomato bread and top with a dollop of vegan sour cream.
- Make it a caprese!: Layer your tomato bread with slices of ripe tomatoes, freshly torn basil leaves, and vegan mozzarella cheese. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with salt and pepper for a classic caprese flavor.
- Bean it up: Spread a layer of mashed and cooked cannelini , chickpeas or refried beans on your tomato bread. Top then top it with sliced avocado, chopped red onion, cilantro, and a sprinkle of vegan queso fresco or tahini.
- Get G(r)eeky: Spread some hummus or dairy-free tzatziki on your tomato bread, then add sliced cucumber, roasted red pepper strips, kalamata olives, and top with some dried oregano.
Feel free to experiment with these flavor combinations and customize them according to your taste preferences. Enjoy!
I hope you give this recipe a try! This bread frankly is one of the simplest things you can bake but the end result is such a delicious treat. I promise you will definitely come back for more 🙂 Please share your thoughts, questions and comments below. If you want to join me on social media, tag #dillandthyme on Instagram or follow along on Pinterest /Facebook.
Tomato Bread Bundt Style
- 3 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 2 – 3 tsp Salt add or reduce according to taste
- 1 1/3 lb Tomatoes 600 g by weight
- 1/3 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes 40 g by weight
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil 75 g by weight
- 10-15 Whole Pitted Black or Green Olives halved, 45g by weight
- 4 tbsp Pine Nuts
- 1 cup Fresh Italian Basil 30 g by weight
- 1 tbsp Salt adjust according to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Grease a 10" inch bundt pan and dust flour to ensure the inner surface is completely coated. Keep aside.
- Add the fresh tomatoes to a high speed blender and run it until tomatoes are fairly pureed. Now add the sun dried tomatoes and pulse for 30-40 seconds until the they are chopped down to smaller pieces. Keep this mixture aside.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Now add the chopped basil, olives,pine nuts and mix again.
- Slowly add the pureed tomato mixture in to the bowl. Then add the olive oil and mix until all the ingredients are just combined.
- Pour this mixture in to the bundt pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. Insert a tooth pick near the center and see if it pulls out clean to check if the bread is done.
- Let the bread cool a bit. Place a plate inverted on top of the bundt pan. Holding both the plate and pan, turn it over to let the bread 'pop put' on to the plate. Serve warm.