Friday, August 17, 2012

Braided Pesto Bread

Stumbling across the recipe for this bread was a happy coincidence.  Last week, our basil plant was getting a little out of control so I was planning on making some pesto so the basil didn't go to waste.  I didn't really have a plan for what I was going to do with all the pesto until this recipe popped up in a blog and I knew it was meant to be.  I did make my own pesto for the bread, but you could definitely use store bough pesto if you don't have a crazy basil plant that needs to be "harvested".  I will try and post the recipe for the actual pesto sometime soon.  The bread recipe came from a blog called Confections of a Foodie Bride and on her post she gives the links to the original tutorial for rolling, cutting and braiding the dough.  I tried to take some good pictures of it for your reference though.  This was extremely quick and easy to make, especially if you don't have to make the pesto first although that is very easy to make as well.  The only change I made was not sprinkling the top with grated parmesan... because I didn't have any. It turned out great and was gobbled up pretty quick.  Here's the recipe:

Braided Pesto Bread

1 c. warm water
2 t. active dry yeast
2 1/2 c. flour; plus more for dusting your work surface
1 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
1/2 c. pesto
2 T. grated parmesan

*It is very helpful to have a stand mixer with a dough hook for this, but I'm sure you could knead it by hand just fine as well.

1. Pour the water into the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the water.  Let sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast has swelled and become kind of frothy.  If that doesn't happen, you need to start over with new yeast.  Sorry.

2. Add the flour, olive oil and salt and turn the mixer on low.  Knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.  After about 2 minutes the dough should be pulling off the sides of the bowl.  If it does not, add extra flour one tablespoon at a time.

3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

The dough after doubling in size.

4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and flour your work surface.  I used parchment paper so I could just slide the paper onto my baking sheet.  I still floured the parchment paper though.

5. Gently stretch and elongate the dough into kind of a long oval.  Then begin rolling into a rectangle that should be about 12" x 18".  Mine was a little smaller and I should have rolled more.

6. Spread the pesto onto the dough and leave about an inch border.

7.  Tightly roll the long side of the dough toward you and pinch the seam closed.  If you're not using parchment paper, transfer the roll of dough to the baking sheet now.  First dust the baking sheet with cornmeal so the dough won't stick.

8.  Using a sharp knife, cut the roll of dough lengthwise and pinch the ends tight.

9. Quickly twist the 2 pieces together, keeping the cut edges on top so they'll fan out when baked.  Then form into a ring and  pinch the ends together.  Transfer the parchment paper to the baking sheet.

10.  Allow the ring to rise for another 15 minutes then top with shredded parmesan and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before eating.  Enjoy!

This would be great with a cinnamon sugar filling or pretty much anything else you might want to spread in there before rolling up.  You could even do pizza ingredients I bet.  I might have to try that soon...

Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. This looks too yummy! I love me some pesto all day long. I don't think my bread twist would turn out near as pretty as that. Also, if you are looking at other ways to use up pesto it is SOOO good to make a tomato, mozzarella, and pesto panini with focaccia bread on a George Foreman grill. So good and not too terribly unhealthy!