Tikka Masala Bread – Reader Recipe

Thank you to reader Monica Kohler for this great tomato bread packed with spices.

“Makes 2 loaves so that I don’t have to bake it more than once a week. Makes condiments optional for my husband who puts chicken and spinach on it for work. I eat it with the Lebanese olives a coworker makes from the olives he brings back from his mom’s trees that I get in trade for knitted items.”

Recipe by Monica Kohler

Makes two loaves


300 g cherry tomatoes or quartered Roma tomatoes (I use cherry tomatoes because we have those more often in the house)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
2 tablespoons ground garam masala*
1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

5-7 g yeast for a dense bread or 10 g for a lighter bread
100 ml warm water
2 tablespoons honey – or I use stem ginger syrup to add more ginger kick

650 g bread flour
2 tablespoons ground garam masala*
1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
Egyptian walking onions (these are from the farmer’s market and they are like chives on
steroids, so they don’t have a lot of moisture) – I like about a half cup for this recipe.

*I have a member of the household who has a cinnamon allergy so here is my recipe for a cinnamon free garam masala, mix:
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground green cardamom
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves


Roast the tomatoes, with the olive oil, garlic and spices at 350 degrees until the skins are split and are starting to brown. Cool and puree. I do this the day before, usually, and bring out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before I start the bread. I have also warmed up for 15 seconds in the microwave on high. It comes to about 250 ml.

Combine the water, yeast, honey and set aside.

Combine the flour, spices, onions and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer with a dough hook. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the tomatoes and mix until just combined; add the water/yeast mixture.

Knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes on low (“1” on a Kitchenaid standing mixer). The dough will still be a little sticky and tacky. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour. Once it took about 15 minutes to get the gluten to work itself because the water content in the tomatoes is variable and I had to add flour twice. Remove the dough from the bowl and either oil the bowl, or transfer to another bowl that is oiled. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a lightly warmed oven for about an hour, until doubled in size.

Form the dough into 2 loaves with minimal handling and cover and let rise again for about half an hour, not quite doubled. I have formed both round and oblong loaves, and this bread would do well formed into loaf pans. I put two cuts on the top for expansion.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If you want a substantial crust, boil 2 cups of water and pour it into a baking pan and place it on the bottom rack. If possible, place the dough above the rack with the pan of boiling water. If not, place the boiling water in two smaller pans on either side of the bread pan. I have baked it both with and without the steam, and the difference to me is negligible.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, (a thermometer will read 200 degrees F when put into the bottom of the loaf, where the loaf will has a “foot”), or until the top of the bread is browned and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap on it with your knuckles.

Transfer the bread to a wire rack and cool completely.


Food image and recipe © Monica Kohler