Friday, June 13, 2014

Pesto Bread

I came across this recipe and I was instantly captivated by it.  I just knew I had to make it.  So I did.  And it did not disappoint me.  The entire loaf was gone within 2 days at our house.  And let me tell you . . .I am not a bread baker.  So, please do not be scared to make this incredible bread.  I made a few tweeks to the original version to fit my family.  I used a jarred pesto instead of making my own as well I used regular white flour.  I'm telling you:  A.MAZ.ING!  My family has already asked me to make again :)

Pesto Bread

1 and 1/4 Cup Warm Water
1 Packet of Yeast
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 and 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Cup - 2/3 Cup Pesto

Step 1:  Place yeast and sugar in bowl and add the very warm water.  Stir to combine and then walk away and let the yeast/sugar dissolve into the water.  After about 15 to minutes, your yeast should be bubbly and ready to go for the next step.

Step 2:  Fit your large stand mixer with the dough hook.  Add the flour and salt to the bowl of the mixer. With mixer running on low, slowly add the yeast mixture. Increase the speed to medium high and mix until the dough comes together into a nice ball of dough. It shouldn't be too sticky or super dry either.

Step 3:  Prep a large bowl by lightly greasing it.  Take the dough from the mixer and shape it into a nice smooth ball.  Place into the greased bowl.  Cover it and allow it to rise until doubled (about an hour).  It helps if you can put the bowl in a nice warm spot without drafts.

Step 4:  Next, we are going to roll out the dough.  I like to use wax paper when I roll out anything.  You don't have to, but it makes this task a little easier and cleanup a little easier too.   Regardless, sprinkle a little flour onto a clean surface and place the dough on top.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin into approximately a 10x20 inch rectangle.

Step 5:  Starting with a 1/2 cup of pesto, spread it out on the dough - but stay about 1/2 inch away from the edges.  If it doesn't seem like enough pesto, add a little more.

Step 6.  Time to roll-up the dough!  Starting at one of the shorter sides, tightly roll up dough and be sure to pinch the edges as you go so that pesto stays in the middle.

Step 7:  Lightly grease a bread loaf pan.  Now, if you want a pesto-swirl bread, you can skip this twisting  part of this step.  However, if you want more of a braided loaf, use a sharp knife and very carefully slice through the dough lengthwise.

You will now have two pieces.

  Twist the two pieces together and place into your bread pan.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Lightly cover and let rest/rise for about 30 minutes.

Step 8:  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 9:  Now that bread has rested for 30 minutes, bake it for about 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190°F and it is slightly golden brown on the top.

Step 10:  Let cool and remove from pan.  Enjoy!

Be sure to store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container.

Troubleshooting dough tips: If dough is too sticky, add a spoonful more flour until ball forms. If dough is too dry, add a spoonful of olive oil at a time until a ball forms.

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