Tomato, Basil, Garlic Loaf
This is the overall winning recipe from the Creative Cooking With Fresh Herbs competition at the 2018 Iowa State Fair submitted by Jennifer Bartles from Des Moines, Iowa.
  1. Combine the water, sugar, yeast, milk, olive oil, eggs, salt, and flour. Mix and knead by hand until you’ve made a cohesive, soft dough. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, thoroughly drain the sun-dried tomatoes. Lay them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Using kitchen shears, finely chop the tomatoes.
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Gently deflate the dough and divide it in half. Roll one piece into a 22″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle Sprinkle on half of the garlic, cheese, basil, and tomatoes.
  4. Starting with one edge, roll the dough into a long the long way. Pinch the edges to seal.
  5. Place the long seam-side down on a baking sheet. Using kitchen shears, start 1/2″ from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center about 1″ deep, to within 1/2″ of the other end.
  6. Keeping the cut side up, for an “S” shape. Tuck both ends under the center of the “S” to form a “figure 8”. Pinch the ends together to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, 45-60 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. While the loaves are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Bake the first loaf for 35-40 minutes. Tent the loaf with foil after 15-20 minutes to prevent over-browning. Bake the remaining loaf.
  9. Remove loaves from their pans; cool on racks. Store any leftovers well-wrapped, at room temperature.