Pesto Tear-and-Share Bread

This is my go-to recipe when going to a potluck. It’s quick, easy and an impressive-looking centerpiece that’s perfect for any party.

I think everyone knows this already, but I LOVE bread, absolutely obsessed. Stuff that bread and I’m dropping everything to run over to eat a piece of that bread. Not exaggerating.

This bread is perfect for if you have a potluck to go to and want to impress your friends, while simultaneously putting in minimal effort. I found this recipe on the PBS website (Pesto Pinwheel Bread), but only kept the dough the same. I didn’t have any of the stuff for the filling that the original recipe called for, so I improvised and it turned out like a fancy version of a pesto pizza.

A couple of notes, don’t bother making homemade pesto, store-bought tastes just as nice (gasp! I know, but it’s true). Also, I just eyeballed the cheese amounts, so add the cheese according to your own tastes and preferences (a little creative interpretation for you all). Lastly, I turned this bread into a flower by putting a little circle of walnuts in the middle of the bread before baking, but you 100% don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, I was just feeling a little extra when I was making this.

Enjoy!:)

Pesto and Cheese Tear-and-Share Bread Recipe:

Makes 1 large loaf

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 500g white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 10g salt
  • 25g sugar
  • 10g fast-action yeast
  • 30g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 50ml milk
  • olive oil, for greasing

For the filling:

  • 4 TBS pesto
  • 5-10 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • Goats cheese, crumbled
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Pecorino cheese, grated

For the topping:

  • 1 large egg, beaten, to glaze
  • A handful of walnut pieces

Directions:

Step 1: To make the dough, in a large bowl, pour in the bread flour. Add in the salt on one side of the bowl and the yeast on the other side, followed by the sugar, softened butter, beaten eggs, milk and about 25ml of warm water. Mix together until everything is combined. Add up to another 100ml warm water, mixing between additions until a soft dough forms.

Step 2: Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. Then lightly oil a large bowl and add the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place for about an hour.

Step 3: When the bread has finished rising, knock back the dough by kneading it for 20 seconds and cut the dough into two.

Step 4: On a lightly floured work surface, roll the remaining half of dough into a circle that’s about 12in. in diameter. Let the dough rest for about five minutes – it will shrink back. Roll it out again to about a 13in. in diameter and place on a large baking tray.

Step 5: Spread four tablespoons of pesto over the dough and sprinkle on the tomatoes and cheese (the amount of cheese is up to you), making the layers slightly deeper in the center. This will form the base of the bread.

Step 6: Roll out the remaining dough as in step 5. This will make the top layer.

Step 7: Brush the edges of the base with a little water and carefully lift the top layer onto the base.

Step 8: Using a sharp knife, trim the dough into a neat circle (about 12in. in diameter). Place a small bowl over the filling. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 equally-sized strips radiating from the bowl. Carefully twist each strip and press the end of each strip onto the baking sheet to stop them unravelling while they prove. Set aside to prove for about 30 minutes.

Step 9: Preheat the oven to 375ºF. After the loaf has proved, brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg and arrange the walnuts in a circle in the center of the loaf to create the middle part of the flower (the stigma). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown in color. Check after 15 minutes and cover the twists with aluminum foil if they are browning too quickly. Allow to cool before digging in.

Happy baking! 🙂

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