Monday, January 19, 2015

Pesto Bread

Back before Thanksgiving many versions of this recipe were making their rounds on Facebook and Pinterest and I just couldn't wait to try it.  I just keep forgetting to buy or save up enough basil to make the pesto.  As luck would have it, my basil plants were getting a little tall and needing a trim right about the time that I stumbled across yet another re-pin of this idea.  I did some recipe shopping and was having a hard time finding good reviews on some of the recipes I could find so I decided to just use the idea and make my own version.  I dug out one of my sandwich bread recipes and looked up the ratios of a basic pesto recipe and got to work!  I have to say, while my bread here is not perfect as I had some company over and I accidentally let it rise to long which made a fairly large hole in the loaf, it is by far the yummiest idea ever.  Seriously, thanks to whoever got that whole pesto bread trend started!

Start by placing 1-2 cups of basil in the food processor.

Then peel your garlic - I like to use this handy garlic peeler - pretty inexpensive and a huge time saver!

You just put the cloves of garlic inside and roll it around to remove all of the peel!

Add your garlic and pine nuts to the food processor as well and then blend to a paste.  Add in parmesan cheese and drizzle in olive oil until a smooth pesto is formed.

Now we will start on our dough!

Add a little bit of the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, butter and water in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes and then add 1 Tbsp. of pesto and the rest of the flour.

Mix on medium speed using the dough hook for 6-8 minutes until a smooth ball of dough forms.

Cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 10"x15".  Spread the pesto evenly over the dough and then starting on one of the short ends tightly roll up the dough.

Be sure to pinch the seam closed to ensure the dough forms into a nice loaf.

Place in a lightly greased bread loaf pan.  Cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

I lost track of time and let mine rise a little long...

Bake at 375F for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Allow to cool completely and then slice and serve with or without butter.

Makes 3/4-1 cup of pesto

1-2 cups basil
1 Tbsp. pine nuts
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic

Place basil, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and run until a paste forms.  Add in Parmesan and drizzle in olive oil.  Run until everything is incorporated.  Set aside until later.

Pesto Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. pesto

In a stand mixer, combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, salt and warm water and butter.  Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.  Add in 1 Tbsp. of pesto and then mix in the remaining flour.  Using the dough hook, mix for 6-8 minutes on medium speed until a smooth ball of dough is formed.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Next, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 10"x15".  Spread 1/2 cup of pesto evenly over dough and roll from the short side tightly across and pinch seams to seal dough.  Place in a greased 9"x5" bread pan and let rise until double in size; about an hour.  Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes and allow to cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling completely on a wire rack.  Serve warm with or without butter or use for sandwiches.  Enjoy!

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