There is nothing like cooking/baking with fresh ingredients. I usually don't buy any canned food. There are a couple of exceptions though. Those are tomato puree, pineapple chunks, condensed mango pulp and cranberry sauce.
I had opened a can of tomato puree when I made roasted red bell pepper soup. Remaining puree was sitting in the refrigerator for me to come up with something else. I thought of making tomato basil focaccia or tomato basil bread. I had eaten a slice of tomato basil bread in panera one day and I had really liked it. But, knowing that only I like basil in the house and not having anyone to give away big part of the loaf, I decided to just stick with tomato focaccia. I did top it with some chopped mint and chilli flakes which can be varied to suit your taste.
Bread flour - 2 cups
Warm water - 1/4 cup
Tomato Puree - 1/2 cup (at room temperature)
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 2 TBSP
Yeast - 1 1/4 tsp
Olive oil - 2 TBSP plus more for topping and pan
Dry milk powder - 1 TBSP (optional if you skip this it'll be vegan version)
Mint - about 2 TBSP chopped finely for topping
Red Chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp or per taste for the dough and more for topping (optional)
Place all the ingredients except the topping ingredients in a bread machine and set the dough cycle. When it completes, turn off the machine. Take a 13 X 9 pan and brush it with olive oil. Place the dough on and spread it to cover the entire pan. It is alright if it doesn't cover the whole pan completely. Dimple the dough and drizzle some olive oil. Sprinkle with chopped mint and red chilli flakes if using. Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes.
Towards the end of the rise period, preheat the oven to 375 F. Bake for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for another 10 minutes at 325 F. Remove from the oven and let it cool on the wire rack.
To make the dough by hand, follow the instructions given in this post. Make the dough and let the dough double in bulk before starting to pat it to the pan.
To Make the dough by hand:
In a bowl, take the warm water. Add sugar to it and sprinkle yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes or till frothy. Add tomato puree, salt, chilli flakes, olive oil. Stir. Slowly start adding the flour, dry milk powder if using. When all the flour has been mixed in, slightly oil your hands and knead for about 5 minutes. Don't add more flour to make it easier to knead. Keep in an oiled bowl and turn once to coat the whole dough ball with oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise till double in volume for about one hour. Proceed with the instructions given above.
This dough is a little sticky. You might be tempted to add more dough to fix it. Don't do that. It bakes up perfectly fine with the amount of moisture it has in it. If you like garlic, you can crush couple of pods and add it to the dough. This can be topped with feta cheese if you are a cheese lover. You can actually mix the chopped mint and leave it out as a topping. I really loved this bread. It has a little heat, sweetness and tang from tomatoes.
Sending this to Susan's yeastspotting.