How to Make Bruschetta Bread


Are you ready to create a culinary masterpiece in your own kitchen? Try making this homemade bruschetta olive oil bread with a mouthwatering tomato topping.

Bruschetta is one of the most simple-yet-exquisite recipes out there, but this recipe takes it up a notch with a homemade olive oil bread.

Homemade bruschetta with tomatoes and basil.

Making the bread for bruschetta may take longer than buying store bought, but let me assure you, the extra steps are so worth it.

This recipe creates a heavenly, slightly savory bread that transforms into the perfect bruschetta. And the 5-minute tomato topping, infused with garlic and fresh basil, pairs beautifully with the bread.

So if you’re looking for a healthy, refreshing appetizer to whip up at your next dinner party or picnic, this homemade bruschetta bread with tomato topping is one for the books!

What is Bruschetta?

The name alone is enough to make your mouth water, but what exactly is this heavenly dish?

Bruschetta (pronounced “brew-sketta”) is a staple in Italian cuisine. In its most basic form, bruschetta consists of grilled bread that has been rubbed with garlic and then topped with olive oil and salt.

These days, you’ll often find it garnished with a delicious tomato topping (like in this recipe). So much so that in modern usage (especially outside of Italy), “bruschetta” is commonly used to refer to this classic bread and tomato combo.

You might be wondering how bruschetta differs from crostini. While both Italian dishes involve toasting bread, the main difference lies in the size. Bruschetta consists of large, wide slices of bread, whereas crostini comprises smaller slices of finer-textured baguette.

The Best Bread to Use for Bruschetta

The secret to the perfect bruschetta lies in the bread. The absolute best? Well, maybe I’m biased, but this homemade olive oil bread recipe definitely tops the list.

Homemade olive oil bread for bruschetta.

If you’d rather use store bought, look for a rustic loaf of high-quality artisan bread. Something that’s crusty on the outside but soft on the inside, so it absorbs the tomato topping without getting too soggy. Sourdough, ciabatta, or French bread works great!

How to Make Homemade Bruschetta Bread

Are you tempted to give this heavenly recipe a shot? While it requires a little bit of patience, the results are oh-so-worth it. Plus, your kitchen will smell like a bakery while the bread is baking, and who wouldn’t love that?

Homemade bread for bruschetta with tomatoes and basil.

Key Ingredients:

Bread Flour. This type of flour is the backbone of the dough, providing the necessary gluten for the bread to rise tall and hold its shape.

Dried Yeast. These magical granules cause the dough to ferment, creating that mouthwatering aroma and airy texture we all know and love. I recommend active dry yeast for this recipe.

Warm Water. This understated ingredient is our third hero, waking up the yeast and making the dough pliable.

Olive Oil. Not only does olive oil give the bread a rich flavor, but it also imparts a delightfully moist texture.

How to Make the Bread

  1. Find a large bowl and mix together flour, yeast, and salt, then stir until combined evenly.
  1. Make a well in the center of the flour, then add the water and 5 tablespoons of the olive oil. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together, then turn out onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. 
  1. Grease a separate bowl with olive oil, then place the kneaded dough into the bowl. Tear a piece of cling wrap and oil one side, then place the oiled side down to cover the bowl.
  1. Leave the dough to prove for about 60-90 minutes until it has doubled in size. You can also place the bowl in the oven (making sure it’s off) and place a small bowl of just-boiled water at the bottom of the oven. This trick helps create a warm, damp environment that makes your dough rise like a champ.
  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out again to a well-floured surface. Knead it for a minute to knock out any air bubbles. Mold the dough into an oval-shaped loaf, then place it on a flat baking trap lined with parchment paper.
  1. Cover it again with oiled cling wrap, then place it back in the (off) oven to proof for another 30 minutes. 
  1. After this second proof, remove it from the oven, then set the oven temperature to 350°F. Drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil on top of the load and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes, then place it on a cooling rack to bring down the temperature.
Slices for homemade olive oil bread on a cutting board with tomato and basil topping in a bowl.

How to Make the Tomato Topping

  1. While the bread is cooling, you can get started on creating the tomato bruschetta topping. Prepare 2 heatproof bowls and fill one with boiling water from the kettle and another one with ice-cold water.
  1. Scour a cross into your tomatoes on one end, place it into the hot water for 30 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to transfer it into the icy water immediately. 
  1. Once the tomatoes have cooled completely, remove the skins, then transfer the peeled tomatoes to a cutting board. Chop the flesh into small cubes, scooping out the seeds, then place the tomatoes into a bowl.
  1. Slice the basil into small strips, then add to the tomatoes. Mince the garlic clove directly into the bowl, then add olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Mix thoroughly.
  1. Slice the bread into 1/2-inch slices and lightly toast. Spoon the tomato mixture on top of each slice and serve immediately.
Homemade bruschetta served on a white place with a bowl of extra tomato and basil topping.

Recipe Tips/Variations/Substitutions

Use in-season tomatoes for freshest results. If you want to take this recipe up a notch, try sourcing local tomatoes from a farm or fruit stand for the sweetest, freshest flavor.

Add pesto for more deliciousness. To amp up the summertime flavor, slather a dollop of pesto on the bread before topping it with the tomato mixture.

Garnish with fresh mozzarella. If you don’t mind the dairy, top your bruschetta with fresh mozzarella. The extra creaminess elevates this recipe to a whole new level.

Scrape the bread with fresh garlic. After toasting your bruschetta bread, slice a garlic clove in half, then rub it against the bread. This simple trick adds a hint of zesty garlic to each bite.

Let the tomato mixture marinate. After you create the tomato topping, let it sit for 20-30 minutes to let all the flavors mix and mingle with one another.

How to Store

Bruschetta with tomatoes is one of those recipes that’s best enjoyed fresh. If you leave the tomato topping for too long on the bread, it will start to lose that delicious crispness and get soggy.

For the freshest results, store the bread and tomato topping separately, storing the latter in the fridge, and keep it for up to two days. When you’re ready to enjoy, just toast the bread and spoon the tomato mixture on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep bruschetta from getting soggy?

To prevent soggy bruschetta, top the bread with the tomato mixture right before serving. Or better yet, you can serve the two components separately and let your guests combine the topping with the bread.

Can I use dried basil in bruschetta instead of fresh?

You can definitely swap dried basil for fresh, but keep in mind that the dried version has a more pungent smell, so you’ll only need about a third of the required amount.

Other Toppings for Bruschetta

The beauty of bruschetta is its versatility. You can pretty much top it with whatever your heart desires!

Think beyond the classic tomato and basil, and try juicy peaches with creamy goat cheese for a burst of summer on your toast. Or why not explore a sweeter version with strawberries, honey, and ricotta?

You can also use earthy mushrooms sautéed in garlic, topped with fragrant thyme, for a scrumptious snack. And for seafood lovers, nothing beats a tangy shrimp and avocado bruschetta.

The possibilities are endless for this classic Italian dish, so feel free to experiment and discover your favorite go-to bruschetta toppings.

More Delicious Bread Recipes

How to Make Bruschetta Bread

This homemade bruschetta is an outstanding appetizer or snack that combines homemade olive oil bread with a rich, savory tomato topping. It’s perfect for dinner parties or summer picnics and tastes even better using in-season tomatoes.

Prep Time1 hour 30 minutes

Cook Time25 minutes

Total Time55 minutes

Course: Appetizer, Baking, Side Dish

Cuisine: Italian

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Keyword: Italian Bruschetta

Servings: 10

Calories: 271kcal

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Homemade Olive Oil Bread

  • 450 grams bread flour just under 16 ounces; best to use metric weight for baking bread
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 300 ml warm water about 1 1/4 cup
  • 6 tbsp olive oil

Tomato Topping

  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • small bunch of fresh basil
  • salt and pepper

Homemade Olive Oil Bread Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add the flour, yeast, and salt, then stir thoroughly to combine evenly

  • Make a well in the center of the flour, then add the warm water and 5 tbsp of the olive oil. Stir the mixture with a spoon until the dough comes together

  • Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 5 minutes

  • Place the kneaded dough into a large bowl greased with olive oil. Cover the bowl with oiled cling wrap, then leave the dough to proof for 60-90 minutes. For best results, place the bowl in the (off) oven along with a small bowl of just-boiled water to create a humid atmosphere

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the oven, then turn it out again onto a well-floured surface. Knead it for another minute to remove any air bubbles, then mold it into an oval-shaped loaf

  • Place the dough on a flat baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover it again using oiled cling wrap, then place it back in the oven to proof for another 30 minutes

  • Remove the dough from the oven, then preheat it to 350°F. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on top of the dough and sprinkle with sea salt

  • Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and cooked throughout

Tomato Topping Instructions

  • Prepare two heatproof bowls, filling one with just-boiled water and another with icy water

  • Slice a cross into one end of each tomato, then place it in the hot water for 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to immediately transfer it to the icy water

  • Once the tomatoes have cooled in the icy water, remove the skins, then transfer the peeled tomatoes to a cutting board. Chop the flesh into small cubes while removing any seeds

  • Place the chopped tomatoes into a bowl, then add the chopped basil, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Mix thoroughly

Assembling the Bruschetta

Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 311IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

Images by Lauren Caris Short.


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