Italian Herb Tomato Bread

A savory quick bread recipe combining fresh tomatoes, Italian herbs, garlic, and cheese.  Bake up some summer right in your kitchen with this easy tomato bread!

sliced loaf of fresh tomato bread on a wooden cutting board

Once again, we’re sneaking in just under the wire for my Quick Bread of the Month.  This month, we’re changing things up a bit and going savory.  Typically “quick bread” conjures up the idea of a sweet, fruit-filled bread.

But really, any bread that doesn’t contain yeast is a quick bread – like this herby, cheesy, tomato bread.  Summer is full of extra-ripe tomatoes and this is a great way to use them, paired with fresh herbs from your garden.

The inspiration for this tomato bread came from some leftover red and yellow tomatoes on the vine.  I love focaccia with fresh tomatoes, so why not impart that flavor into a quick bread?

I tried searching for tomato quick bread recipes, but came up short.  Really short.

Almost every recipe I found used tomato sauce, a can of crushed tomatoes, sundried tomatoes in oil, or in one instance – ketchup. (Ew.)  No worries – I can forge this path on my own.  To the experimental kitchen, STAT!

freshly baked loaf of tomato bread in a loaf pan

Baking with Ratios

Savory quick breads are much easier than sweet, in my opinion, because there’s no need to worry about sugar.  For a sweet quick bread, you want something sweet – but not too sweet.  Too much or too little sugar completely changes the taste of the bread.  A savory quick bread, however, is just about maintaining the proper ratio of flour, liquid, eggs, and fat.

For today’s kitchen chemistry we’re talking math – but don’t worry, it’s easy math.  And it means you’ll be able to bake with a recipe!  Let’s talk about the ratios I use when developing recipes.

Kitchen Chemistry

For a perfect quick bread, use a 4:1 ratio of flour + liquid to fat + eggs.  For a savory quick bread, use four times the weight of flour and liquid as fat and eggs.

Of course, there’s a little more to it.  Milk is both a liquid and a fat.  Eggs are roughly 75% water.

But if you’re like me and love this stuff, you’re ready to do the math.  And if you don’t, well, that’s why you look to recipes from trusted sources like this to do the kitchen experimenting for you!

four photos showing ingredients, tomatoes pureed in a food processor, mixed batter, and batter poured into a loaf pan

Baking Bread with Fresh Tomatoes

Thanks to my handy dandy food processor, this tomato bread was really easy (once I figured out all those ratios mentioned above).

Add your ripe tomatoes, some roughly chopped garlic, and a big handful of basil and oregano right into the food processor.  Pulse it a few times (10-15 1-second pulses worked for me) and stir it right on in with the rest of the ingredients.  Everything else can be whisked by hand.

Don’t have a food processor?  Use a blender, or chop it all by hand – just use a cutting board with a juice groove to catch the tomato juices.  After all, that tomato juice is important to maintain the proper liquid ratio!

Of course, different tomatoes release different amounts of juices.  You’ll want to use medium-t0-large tomatoes for this; not cherry tomatoes.

Riper tomatoes are also juicier than un-ripe, so use ripened summer tomatoes.

If you find that your tomatoes aren’t particularly juicy, add just a little more milk to make sure the mixture has just enough moisture to come together.  Think crumbly biscuit dough, not a traditionally ‘wet’ quick bread that pours from the bowl into the loaf pan.

whole loaf of savory tomato quick bread

Tips and Tricks for the Best Italian Herb Tomato Bread

  1. Use ripe, fresh tomatoes!  Tomatoes that aren’t quite ripe won’t be juicy enough, and will result in dry, crumbly bread.
  2. That said, if your tomatoes aren’t juicy… add 2-3 tablespoons additional milk to get a moist, but not wet, batter.
  3. If the mixture is very wet, add an extra 2-3 tablespoons of flour.  The dough should be wet enough that no dry streaks of flour remain, but not so wet that it is easily pourable.
  4. This tomato bread tastes even better the next day, after sitting out.
  5. For delicious uses, top with avocado and a fried egg, or use for savory French toast!

More Tomato Recipes:

2016 Quick Bread of the Month Series

loaf of tomato bread with tomatoes and eggs in the background

Italian Herb Tomato Bread

Yield: 1 loaf (12 slices)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

An easy savory quick bread combining fresh tomatoes, Italian herbs, garlic, and cheese.  Bake up some summer right in your kitchen with this tomato bread.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup (66 grams) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (76 grams) milk
  • 1 cup (113 grams) grated cheddar
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound (454 grams) fresh tomatoes
  • large handful of fresh basil and oregano

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.  Grease an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in the egg, oil, and milk, followed by the grated cheese.  The batter will be very thick.
    3. Combine the chopped garlic, tomatoes, basil, and oregano in a food processor.  Using a series of 10-15 one-second pulses, chop the tomatoes and garlic until no large pieces remain, but mixture is not completely smooth.
    4. Fold the tomato and garlic mixture into the batter.  Resulting batter will still be thick, but should be fully moist. If dry patches of flour remain, stir in an additional 2-3 tablespoons of milk. If batter is quite wet, stir in an additional 2-3 tablespoons of flour.
    5. Pour (scoop) the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Bake 45-50 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
    6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.  Enjoy while still warm.

Notes

  1. Use fresh, ripe tomatoes for the best texture and flavor.
  2. If chopping tomatoes by hand, save all the juice that is released and pour it into the bowl.
  3. The bread is delicious topped with avocado and a fried egg, or used in savory french toast.


Tomato bread can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 10.1gCarbohydrates: 25.8gProtein: 6.8g

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Italian Herb Tomato Bread: an easy savory quick bread recipe starring fresh tomatoes, Italian herbs, garlic, and cheese. Bake up some summer right in your kitchen! #bunsenburnerbakery #bread #quickbread #tomatobread