Pesto Swirl Bread

I love baking bread on the weekends, when I’m not doing too much and have plenty of time to wait for it to rise.  I stumbled upon the fantastic Joy of Cooking recipe for basic white bread and made a few loaves to cut up for stuffing on Thanksgiving.  I liked it so much I wanted to make some to eat with dinner tonight, but with a twist.  I put some of the pesto from a few days ago on a flattened-out piece of dough and rolled it up. It was a nice dressed-up version of regular white bread and a perfect accompaniment to a simple dinner of pasta and salad.  I will definitely be making this again!

(adapted from Joy of Cooking)
2 tbsp warm water (about 11o F)
1 tsp active dry yeast 
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2-3 cup bread flour
about 1/4 cup pesto
Dissolve the yeast in the water and set aside.
Heat the milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan, until it’s about 105 degrees.
Pour the yeast and the milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and stir together.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in about 2 cups of flour and mix until a dough forms.  Switch to the dough hook and turn the mixer on to low speed (2).  Mix for about 8 minutes, adding flour a tablespoon at a time if dough seems especially sticky.
When the dough is smooth and elastic, form into a ball and place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.
Let rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
Punch down, then let rise again for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Grease a 5 x 9 loaf pan.
After the dough has risen, flatten it into a rectangle about 9″ by 9″
Spread the pesto evenly over the dough, then carefully roll it up.
Pinch together the seam and place the loaf seam-side down in the loaf pan
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
Set on a wire rack to cool.

8 Responses to “Pesto Swirl Bread”

  1. 1 Stephanie November 30, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    This looks awesome!!

  2. 2 Kristina R. November 30, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    This looks great. What a great bread to accompany any pasta dinner.

  3. 3 Joelen November 30, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    What a great way to use pesto!

  4. 4 That Girl November 30, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Since I know you’re trying not to stockpile food in your fridge/freezer this is a brilliant idea for all that pesto!

  5. 5 Kaitlin November 30, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    ooo that looks so good!!

  6. 6 Tiffany and Ganesh December 1, 2008 at 4:17 am

    how creative! looks great!!

  7. 7 jennrs December 1, 2008 at 4:26 am

    Great recipe. I look forward to making this.

  8. 8 ~Amber~ December 3, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    This looks and sounds delicious. I am a sucker for freshly baked bread and the swirl of pesto sounds like an awesome addition.

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