Pesto Bread

Pesto Bread

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This is possibly one of the best filled breads I’ve baked! Jim and I have been watching the Great British Bake-off, enchanted with the show, and all I want to do is bake!

Pesto Bread
Pesto Bread

There’s only so much we can eat without outgrowing our home, so if I’m going to keep playing, I may need to host a girl’s night tasting party once a week.

I thought this was going to be a one-off loaf, but it is a keeper, so I wrote it down before I forgot what I’ve done.

The dough:

  • 370 grams bread flour (I use KAF)
  • 230 grams water
  • 5 grams instant acting yeast
  • 14 grams cold pressed olive oil
  • 6 grams salt
  • 15 grams honey (we raise our own bees, so I try and use honey as a sweetener for most of my bakes).

Place ingredients in a mixer (or bread machine). I use an Ankarsrum* and can’t rave about it enough!

Mix on medium speed for 10–12 minutes, or until the dough forms a window pane when gently stretched.

Place in a covered oiled bowl in the refrigerator overnight, 12–15 hours. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for thirty minutes to an hour, before dividing into two pieces, and roll each out each section five or six inches wide, the length of a jelly roll pan.

The pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup parmesan reggiano, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 5–6 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (I may try 1/3 cup next time)

Combine ingredients into a food processor and puree until the mixture forms a smooth, thick paste.

Fresh Pesto
Fresh Pesto

Spread half of the pesto onto each dough section and roll up the long sides. Place the dough tubes onto a parchment-lined jelly roll pan, seam side down, and with a sharp knife, slash each in the middle the length of the tube.


Twist the two tubes around each other, keeping the slashed side up.

Let rise until doubled.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake about 10 more minutes, until the loaf is golden brown. Top with shredded parmesan cheese if desired.

Let cool on a wire rack, put on a loose fitting outfit, pour a glass of wine, and swoon.

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CJ Tinkle

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. treadlemusic

    The “key” is slashing the dough so steam doesn’t build and form a large pocket. That’s the pesto recipe I use, too. Yum!!!

    1. tinksquared

      I don’t slash all breads Doreen. Enriched doughs baked at a low temperature (350 degrees) don’t require it. This dough however, has no pocket. It was pre-slashed during the twisting.

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