Submitted by: Geoff Marshall from Chicago, IL
Yield: 1 loaf of bread
Dissolve yeast and sugar in water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature. (This lets the yeast wake up and have some breakfast before it gets to work on the flour.)
In a standing mixer, whisk together flour, salt, tomato powder and dried basil.
Attach the dough hook, set it on low speed, and gradually add the water to the bowl.
Let the dough knead completely into a uniform ball. You may need to use a rubber spatula to work any flour stuck the side of the bowl into the dough ball.
(If kneading by hand, simply work the dough the same way until it becomes a uniform ball.)
Grease a mixing bowl with a touch of olive oil and add the dough ball. Flip the dough ball in the bowl until it is covered with olive oil.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least one hour or until the dough ball has doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a 12-inch diameter Dutch oven on the middle rack of the oven. (You will bake the bread inside the Dutch oven.)
Punch the dough down and gently knead the dough into a ball. You can simply fold four corners together.
Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper, fold side down, dust it with flour, cover it with a clean cloth. Let the dough rise for another hour.
Bake the bread in the Dutch oven for 20 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the internal temperature reads 210F.
Let bread rest for about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
More About This Recipe
For even more flavor, try working chopped sun-dried tomatoes and shaved parmesan into the dough. If you don't have a Dutch oven, you can also try the steam method using a cast iron skillet. Place a cast iron skillet on the lower rack of the oven to preheat while dough proofs. When dough is ready, you will bake the bread on a sheet pan in the middle rack of the oven. When you place the bread in the oven, carefully pour one cup of boiling water into the skillet to incorporate steam into the oven. This yields that gorgeous and crunchy crust.