This bread machine bread has wonderful Mediterranean flavors incorporated into it. I always love the smell of fresh bread baking but I think I loved the smell of the tomatoes, onions and basil as much.
It went well with a grill steak salad I had today. It is also wonderful for dipping, in a good quality extra virgin olive oil that has been seasoned with fresh ground pepper.
adapted from The Cook's Encyclopedia of Bread Machine Baking.
NOTES: I keep making this bread and finding ways to improve the process. This bread was tricky for the bread machine but I will continue to use the machine. I used the dough cycle and found that I needed to add more water at the beginning because it just seemed to dry. About 1/4 to 1/2 cup water should do it. Since making again, when the machine is on last knead, I add the veggie ingredients. This made the dough too wet, so I added more flour, adding a little at a time until it seemed to be the right consistency. Even with the extra work involved, this bread is my all time favorite and I will continue to make it.
In a small frying pan heat olive oil over a moderate heat. Once hot, add onions; fry for 3 to 4 minutes until light golden color.
Add tomatoes and basil; cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes until tomatoes are softened.
Remove from heat; drain through a sieve placed over a bowl to catch juice. NOTE: Juice will be used so don't toss. Press mixture gently with back of spoon to extract as much juice as possible. Set tomato mixture aside as well as the juice.
Add water to the reserved juice to make 1 1/4 cup liquid.
Pour liquid into bread pan.
Add flour, ensuring that the liquid is covered. Add pepper, salt and sugar in separate corners in the bread pan.
Make a shallow indentation in the center of the flour; add yeast.
Set machine to dough cycle; press start. NOTE: I used the 2 lb loaf setting. Not really sure if that matters since I only used the dough setting. Press start. NOTE: check to make sure dough is moist enough; add additional water if needed soon after you start the machine. I found I needed to add extra water.
Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan; set aside.
When dough cycle is complete; remove dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Punch down gently.
Knead in reserved tomato mixture. You may need to add extra flour if dough is too moist.
NOTE: See note in step 1. I am now added the tomato mixture into the bread maching during last kneading. Totally up to you.
Flatten the dough and shape into a 1 inch thick rectangel. Fold the side to the middle and press down the edge to seal. Make a hollow along the center and found in half again. Gently roll into a loaf about 16-inches long. Shape into an "S" shape and place in prepared pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for 35 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Make a glaze by mixing egg yolk and water together. Brush over top of bread. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.