Parmesan Sun Dried Tomato Bread with Fresh Cracked Peppercorns ~ Improv Challenge

by FoodBabbles on August 16, 2012

Post image for Parmesan Sun Dried Tomato Bread with Fresh Cracked Peppercorns ~ Improv Challenge

Each month when Improv Challenge rolls around, my wheels really start turning as I try to figure out just what I’ll do with our two ingredients. I love coming up with an idea and seeing how it plays out. This month our ingredients were tomato and peppers. At first, I had thoughts of salsa or pico de gallo. That was the direction I was headed. Then quite spontaneously my entire direction changed when I was cleaning out my refrigerator.

This menial task had me scrubbing, tossing and reorganizing when I stumbled on some sun dried tomatoes that were leftover from a dinner recent recipe. Just like that, I had a whole new idea. Bread it would be, which is a strange choice since I’ve had some previous bread issues. Now, what kind of pepper could I incorporate into the mix? At first I had thought about roasted red peppers however, this would have required me going to the store. With a new idea in my head, I wanted to make it right then. That’s when I remembered I had a peppercorn medley in the spice rack that could be wonderful in this bread.

Viola! With my bread fully formed in my head, I jotted down some notes and set about working. I remembered the boule I had made for BakeTogether at the beginning of the year and thought that would be the perfect canvas for this yeasty creation. I added the sun dried tomatoes, some parmesan cheese, fresh rosemary and the cracked peppercorns. Shortly there after the bread was baking in the oven. What emerged from my oven was a masterpiece. The bread is tender and flavorful which vibrant taste in each bite. The perfect partnership of tomatoes and pepper.



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Parmesan Sun Dried Tomato Bread with Fresh Cracked Peppercorns ~ Improv Challenge

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Parmesan Sun Dried Tomato Bread with Fresh Cracked Peppercorns ~ Improv Challenge

A tender, flavorful bread with parmesan, sun dried tomatoes, fresh rosemary and cracked peppercorns.


  • 3 1/3 cups (15 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 packet (1/4 ounce) instant yeast (Rapid Rise)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cups very warm water (between 115 and 125 degrees)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 15 sun dried tomatoes, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon cracked peppercorns, divided (I used a medley of black, pink, white and green)


  1. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking powder. Clip the bowl into the mixer stand and fit the mixer with the dough hook.
  2. With mixer on medium-low speed, slowly pour the water into the flour and mix until the flour is completely incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bottom and sides of the bowl, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add in the sun dried tomatoes, rosemary, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 tablespoon cracked peppercorns. Knead to incorporate.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball.
  5. Using some of the melted butter, lightly grease the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.
  6. Place the dough, rounded side up, back into the bowl. Cover the top securely with plastic wrap. Let the covered dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  7. Using some of the melted butter, generously butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and press to deflate it. Shape the dough into a 7-inch-wide round and place it, smooth side up, in the center of the prepared pan.
  8. Generously brush the top and sides with some of the melted butter. You may not need all the butter. Sprinkle remaining cracked peppercorns and parmesan cheese on top.
  9. Let the dough rise (no need to cover it) in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 25 minutes. It will fill the pan.
  10. When ready to bake, position a rack in the middle of the oven and the oven to 375°F. When the dough has risen to about 2 inches above the edge of the pan, bake until the boule is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped, about 40 minutes.
  11. Transfer the pan to a rack, remove the bread and let cool completely.
  12. Enjoy!


Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes of prep time is inactive time while the dough rises. Only approximately 10 minutes of active time.

Adapted from Abby Dodge

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Melody♪♫ August 16, 2012 at 10:28 am

Oh how I love artisan breads! I can’t wait for the weather to cool down so I can turn on my oven again & make your recipe.


Lesa @Edesia's Notebook August 16, 2012 at 10:59 am

That bread is beautiful! I thought about bread, but I have no experience with making bread so I didn’t think I’d be able to pull it off. Yours turned out beautifully! Great idea!


Kate August 16, 2012 at 11:12 am

Thanks so much Lesa! It actually is such an easy loaf to make. I had made this loaf before, just plain and was amazed with just how easy it was to accomplish. I’ve had terrible bread experiences in the past so if I can make this, anyone can make it!


Cookaholic Wife August 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

The bread is gorgeous! I really want try this recipe out.


Kate August 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

Thanks! I’m so glad you like it. I hope you do make it and come back and let me know what you think.


Teri @ The Freshman Cook August 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

This sounds heavenly! I am definitely going to be trying this. Yum!


Kate August 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Thanks Teri! Hope you like it.


Kim August 16, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Oooh.. yummy! Great picture!


Kate August 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Thanks so much Kim!


Lisa~~ August 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm

I never have luck making bread so I’m always impressed when I see a gorgeous loaf like yours, sounds delicious.

If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my Improv Cooking Challenge entry: French Fries Hash Browns.

Cook Lisa Cook


Kate August 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Thanks Lisa! I’ve had my fair share of failure but I continue to try it. Clearly, I’m a glutton for punishment. But it’s starting to pay off now. I’m baking more and more successful loaves.


Stacy August 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I love bread baked with rosemary and Parmesan but the addition of sun-dried tomatoes sends this loaf over the top! Gorgeous combination. Can’t wait to try it.


Kate August 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Thanks Stacy! Hope you like it. Let me know what you think!


Christine August 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I am still a beginner with bread, but this looks like something I can tackle! Thanks Kate for sharing this!


Kate August 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm

You can definitely do this Christine!! I’ve had my fair share of bread failure and I promise you, this is no fail bread. And the base recipe (the peasant boule) is no fail and fantastic too! So buttery and wonderful. If I can do this, anyone can.


Lisa August 18, 2012 at 3:59 am

I honestly don’t know hgow you are able to do all of these challenges..especially with two baby girls..I bow to thee and hope to be able to scrounge some goodies off of you soon in person lol This bread looks superb, Kate..I haven’t had anything with sun dried tomatoes in a while. I think it’s time again!


Kate August 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Thanks Lisa! No bowing… up, up with you 😉 So glad you like my loaf. And yes!!! I would love to give you goodies in person!


Kristen August 18, 2012 at 6:26 am

You were truly inspired with this bread. What a wonderful combination!


Kate August 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Thanks Kristen! I truly was.


Liz August 18, 2012 at 8:55 am

Oh, my, does sun-dried tomato bread sound amazing! And it’s finally cooling down enough to start baking bread again 🙂


Kate August 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Thanks Liz! See, I’m the opposite. I am more likely to have bread baking success in the summer. My house gets so cool during fall and winter so I my bread tends to not want to rise. So I suffer through the summer heat, turn on the oven and that’s when I find I make the best loaves 🙂


Serena August 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm

OK yum, yum, yum! I’m trying to make break more for my kids’ lunches…bet this would be amazing in a sandwich!


Kate August 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Oh, I didn’t even use it on a sandwich and now I really wish I had! Great idea. We just had it along side dinner one night.


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