Sunday, September 19, 2010

Herb and Tomato Sourdough Bread with Garlic Basil Butter

Herb and Tomato Sourdough Bread with Garlic Basil Butter

For this weeks Iron Chef Challenge, I wanted to try making something I haven't done before. So first time for sourdough starter from scratch, first time for homemade tomato juice and first time for basil butter :D

Sourdough Starter

I started this on Tuesday, did a feed 48 hours after, then used the starter (the bread recipe ended up using all of it) on Sunday. So 5 days.


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast


Mix together flour, warm water, and yeast in a large glass bowl. Let stand uncovered in a warm place over night or up to 48 hours. The longer the mixture stands, the stronger the ferment will be.

After fermenting, the starter is ready to use or to store covered in the refrigerator. Feed once or twice a week with 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, and 1/4 cup sugar; allow the starter to rest at room temperature for several hours after feeding. (I halved the feeding because I was afraid I would end up with too much starter)

The bread recipe calls for tomato juice, but I wanted something earthier. So I made my own V8 juice with some herbs.


4 roma tomatoes
1 stalk of celery with leaves
1/3 red onion
1T parsley
2 dashes worcheshire sauce
salt and pepper to taste


Simmer veggies on the stove with parsley until tender. About 45 minutes.

Run ingredients through a food mill.

Return sauce to pan and add seasonings. Let cool to warm.

Sourdough Bread


1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm tomato juice
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
7 cups all-purpose flour(I used bread flour)


Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water, set aside.

In large bowl; mix starter and tomato juice. Add yeast mixture, salt, sugar and stir well.

Add 1 cup of flour at a time and beat well to develop the gluten. When a stiff dough forms, turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding the last 1 cup of flour as you go.

Turn into greased bowl and lightly grease top, cover with towel and place in draft free area for 2 hours. Will double in bulk.

Punch down and divide dough in two, form into rounds and place each on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled generously with cornmeal.

Let rise 1/2 hour, rub top lightly with flour and slash with sharp knife.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C ) for 45-60 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned when checked.

For a soft crust, cool under a clean dishtowel. For a harder European type crust, cool without.

Basil Butter


2 sticks butter, softened
2 sprigs fresh basil, chopped
2 gloves garlic, chopped
1/4 salt

Whip the butter until soft. Add basil. With the chopped garlic spread out on a cutting board, sprinkle with salt. Smash and drag with your knife until garlic begins to break down. Add to butter. Stir until mixed.


This tasted so good. You really get the earthy sweet taste of the tomatoes in the bread and the basil and garlic in the butter. Outstanding.