HomeNewsBAC BulletinBakers Formula: Sourdough Tomato Miche with Fresh Basil and Pepper

Bakers Formula: Sourdough Tomato Miche with Fresh Basil and Pepper

Yield: Makes 1 loaf (1400 g) or 2 loaves (700 g each), free-form

In 1994 I attended the RBA show in Vegas: it was my first big trade show and we took a precious two days off from behind the bench at Rising Star in Victoria, B.C. I was fascinated by the equipment and array of products available, but mostly, like a bug-eyed kid, I engaged with the demonstrations, which I feel are essential to any successful trade show.

It was fall and at one of the equipment stands a baker was making white bread. He announced that the formula didn’t have any water in it, which of course, hooked us all. After he blended the dry ingredients, he took a case of ripe tomatoes and started throwing them, one by one, in the mixer until the correct consistency was achieved.

The result: a beautiful silky, pink dough which baked into a tasty, interestingly flavoured loaf. I never forgot that recipe and have used it often. We have been blessed with a warm and sunny fall on Vancouver Island and our garden tomato harvest has been abundant. Time to make the tomato bread! Over the years I have adjusted the formula and now use a 100 per cent sourdough overnight process.


Organic white flour 150 g
Water 150 g
Levain (sour starter) 31 g

Tomato (ripe, variable) 450 g
Fresh basil, chopped 15 g
Fresh ground black pepper To taste

Final dough
Organic white flour 600 g
Water (variable) 0
Salt 15 g
Levain 330 g

Total 1,472 g


  1. Make levain 6-10 hours before mixing using a recently refreshed starter.
  2. Blend the tomatoes with a stick blender or, if very ripe, mash up by hand.
  3. Tomato amount will be variable depending on the variety used and degree of ripeness.
  4. Mix all ingredients by hand in a bowl and give 30 minutes’ rest. Cover dough.
  5. Lightly fold and rest overnight, covered, in fridge.
  6. Next morning, stretch and fold dough and gently shape into boule (can be shaped into 2 smaller loaves if desired).
  7. Rest in dusted couche, basket or banneton in a warm place for 2-4 hours or until fully proofed.
  8. If using a Dutch oven, heat first. Cut (score) dough, and carefully place into HOT Dutch oven.
  9. Lid on and bake with fan assist for 20 minutes at 425 F (220 C).
  10. Turn down to 410 F (210 C) and bake for 15 more minutes.
  11. Take off lid and finish baking for another 10-15 minutes (if using an oven without fan assist, increase temperatures by 25 F (10 C).
  12. Check internal temperature with a probe thermometer for doneness to 205 F (96 C).
  13. If cutting into 2 loaves, can be baked in pan or directly on baking sheet or hearth in any shape and baking times will be shorter.
  14. Enjoy with your favourite accompaniment!


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