I've figured out the best bruschetta with sourdough French bread!
Don't you just love summer and tomato season? Kent and I have found our favorite tomatoes: sungolds. They're a cherry tomato that look like this:
They're sweet and wonderful and make every tomato dish taste extra amazing! We have them growing up on our deck in pots and also down in our garden.
If you don't have fresh in-season tomatoes from your garden or from the farmers market, it's okay. I made this before our tomatoes came in and it was still really good. You also don't have to make the bruschetta on homemade sourdough bread, either. You can make a yeast bread recipe (see my note in the instructions for how to do that), or use any bread from the store that toasts up firm enough to withstand the juices in the bruschetta without making it soggy. At least be sure to toast it WELL so it maintains a nice crunch. Usually a french type loaf works well. Preferably organic or from a local baker you know won't be using preservatives or other not-great ingredients. But making homemade sourdough shaped into a french bread loaf is simple and really doesn't take that much time!
One thing to remember if you are making the sourdough French bread version though, is that you'll need to start the night before to give your starter a feeding, and again the next morning. Then I mix up the bread around mid-day, so by the time it rises and bakes, the timing is right to finish making it in time for dinner.
Watch the video below the recipe to see how I make the best bruschetta with sourdough French bread…
The Best Bruschetta EVER!
Sourdough French Bread: (See note below for how to adapt to regular bread)
- 1/2-3/4 cup or so of sourdough starter-- see my sourdough post for all the details on how to make your own starter, keep it healthy, etc.
- flour and water for 2 feedings, about 1/2-3/4 cup flour each time and then enough water to make a thick pancake batter consistency (try to end up with about 2 cups, but it's easy to adapt if it's more or less, again, that info is also in my sourdough post, including why I don't exactly measure the amounts of flour and water that I feed it. Short answer: because there's no need to, sourdough is so forgiving!)
- 4 cups organic bread flour (all-purpose flour works as well), plus more for dusting the counter-- I usually add part whole grain einkorn flour too. (About 1/3 cup of the amount of flour called for, otherwise you won't get as good of a rise.)
- 10 Tablespoons warm water (1/4 + 1/8 cup)
- 1 Tablespoon avocado and/or olive oil
- 1.5 Tablespoon organic palm sugar
- 1.5 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon avocado and/or olive oil (for after rolling out)
- 1 Tablespoon organic Italian seasoning, this can be added to the dough, or sprinkled on later--see instructions
- 1 Tablespoon organic garlic powder ""
- 1 egg yolk (for egg wash)
- 1 Tablespoon milk ""
- 1/4 cup more avocado and/or olive oil for brushing on the slices before toasting
- 4 pints organic cherry tomatoes (a little more or less is fine), we love sungolds from our garden, but any tomatoes will work! If you use regular tomatoes, just be sure to cut in half & get most of the seeds & liquid out before tossing into the food processor so it's less liquidy. <-- Is that a word?
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon organic garlic powder
- 1/8 cup organic cane sugar or palm/coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup organic balsamic vinegar
- 1 handful fresh basil
- 1 handful fresh parsley, optional (1 teaspoon dried is fine too)
- 1/3 cup avocado oil and/or olive oil (I like to use some of each)
Put it together:
- 11 ounce log goat cheese, optional-- or you could add a slice of soft mozzarella!
- 2-3 loaves French bread, sliced and toasted
- bruschetta topping
- parmesan cheese, shredded
Sourdough French Bread:
- The night before, give your starter a feeding, and again first thing in the morning. Around mid-day start making the bread, so you can bake it and finish in time for dinner.
- Put the ingredients into a Bosch or other stand mixer if you have one (I love my Bosch, it's been going strong for over 15 years!): 2 cups starter, 4 cups flour, 10 T. water, 2 tsp. oil, 1 T. sugar, 1 tsp. sea salt in last--also add the garlic powder and Italian seasonings now if you're in a hurry. (You could also mix in a bowl then knead by hand too.)
- Knead for a minute or so and check the dough to see if it's too sticky or too dry--see the video for more on this. You want it to clean off the sides as it mixes, not be too sticky, and have it hold it's shape if you turn off the mixer, but not dry to the touch. Add more water if it's dry or flour if it's too sticky as needed, just a little at a time. The more you make bread you'll get a feel for this.
- Take out the dough hook and let the dough set for a few minutes while you get your pans ready (2 parchment paper lined baking sheets) and lightly flour the counter. If you have something to do for an hour or so before you shape the bread and you've got the extra time, that's fine and will give you a nicer rise, but it's not necessary. You can shape right away if you'd rather or if you're short on time.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop. Flour or butter your hands if the dough is still a bit sticky to work with. If ever it sticks to the counter a little, dust with more flour. Lightly turn the dough between your hands on the counter until it's a round ball. Using a bench scraper tool (or dough cutter or whatever you call it), cut the dough into 3 or 4 equal sized loaves. 4 loaves will be skinnier, and 3 loaves will be a little bigger.
- Work with one piece at a time... If you already added the seasonings, roll the dough into a long skinny French loaf shape, about 12" long, and place onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- If you didn't add the seasonings yet, roll your dough ball into a rectangle about 8"x10" or so, it doesn't have to be exact at all. Spread 1 Tablespoon oil around the rolled out dough, and sprinkle garlic powder and Italian seasonings all over. Roll it up from the long side and place seam down onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Use a serrated knife to carefully cut diagonal slits into the top of the loaf.
- Let rise, about 2-5 hours or more if your house is cold. (If using yeast, it'll probably take less than an hour.) Lightly covering with a plastic wrap sprayed with oil keeps the tops softer. (Spray avocado oil an be found at the store now!)
- Preheat oven to 375*.
- Mix the egg yolk and milk together well, and brush it over the top of the loaves.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until it's a nice golden brown. Cool on wire racks. (Keep the parchment on the baking sheets for the next step.)
- Preheat broiler on oven. (Or you could also toast the bread on your outdoor grill, to keep from heating your house up more!)
- Slice into 1/2-3/4" pieces and lay back onto the parchment lined baking sheets. Brush oil on each piece, then broil (or grill) until toasted a fairly dark brown--this way it doesn't get soggy when you add the bruschetta topping.
- (You'll likely have extra bread leftover to enjoy for dinner the next day with lots of butter, so you may want to start out with only slicing two loaves for the bruschetta.)
Put it together:
- If desired, spread each piece of toasted bread with goat cheese or thinly slice a piece of soft mozzarella on top (best is to do this right after it’s toasted so it gets soft and a little melty). Add the tomato topping and some fresh shredded Parmesan. Enjoy!
- Add 1 Tablespoon yeast
- Increase flour by 2 cups
- Increase water by 1 cup
Here are a few more bruschetta photos:
More you might like:
- Savory Tomato Pie–another fun way to use summer tomatoes!