Jeff & Linda's Kitchen of Diversity
Italian cuisine represents one of the most familiar suites of flavors in the contemporary North American diet. In our next veggie burger and bun combination, we turn your garden produce into a sandwich evocative of southern Italy, in particular Sicily and the adjacent Calabrian coast.
First, we’ll make a basil-flavored tomato roll containing parmesan cheese and studded with black olives. This is a truly spectacular bun that is also excellent baked as a loaf and sliced for cold sandwiches.
2 tablespoons dry yeast dissolved into 2 tablespoons water
2 cups tomato juice
¼ cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
5 cups unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon sea salt
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives
½ cup shredded sundried tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
Place tomato juice into the bowl of a bench-top mixer along with the active yeast, tomato paste, brown sugar, and flour. At low speed mix until a medium-soft dough is formed, about 2 minutes. If the dough is too stiff, add in some water. Sprinkle salt over the dough and continue mixing at medium speed for another 6 minutes. Keeping mixing speed at medium, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl as a narrow stream. Mix for another 2-3 minutes until all the oil has been absorbed into the dough. Put mixer on low speed and add in the olives, dried tomatoes, basil and parmesan. Mix until all are incorporated into the dough, about 1-2 minutes. (The dough can also be made by hand; in this case add in the salt and olive oil with the tomato paste, brown sugar, tomato juice and flours, and knead until the dough is satiny, about 10-15 minutes. Knead in the olives, dried tomatoes, basil and parmesan at the end.)
Cover bowl with a damp cloth or with a plastic bag, set in a warm place, and let raise until doubled.
Form and bake as per the general directions (click to follow link).
This bread will taste even better if you make it with your own fresh basil and home-made tomato products. We recommend use of a standard Italian basil like Emily or Genovese. You'll appreciate tomato juice made with a rich and sweet old-fashioned canning tomatoes like Amish Paste, German Red Strawberry, or Jersey Giant. The best varieties for making your own dried tomatoes are smaller and less juicy paste tomatoes like Martino's Roma, Royal Chico, San Marzano, or Ten Fingers of Naples.