Pesto and Parmesan Bread


For the Dough:
1 kilogram flour, plus extra for kneading if necessary
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package (7 g) dry yeast
For the Filling:
1 cup pesto
1 cup Parmesan cheese (finely shredded)


In a large bowl or mixer bowl combine together water, milk and olive oil and mix well.
Leave aside a cup of flour for bench work.
In separate bowl mix 2 cups flour, sugar and dry yeast and add to liquid ingredients. Mix well (with a mixer on medium speed) and leave the mixture to rise uncovered for 8-10 minutes.
In another bowl mix the rest (about 2 cups) of the flour and salt and in about 10 minutes the flour and salt mixture gradually, stirring constantly on low speed with dough attachments.
Knead the dough on medium speed until gets smooth and elastic and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl - if dough is too firm, add 2-3 tablespoons lukewarm water, if it is too soft – add 2-3 tablespoons flour. Knead about 8-10 minutes.
Pour the dough in a large bowl greased with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and turn it over few times to lightly coat all sides . Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a cotton cloth and leave to rise for about 30 minutes or until almost doubled in bulk.
Once the dough is almost doubled in bulk, pour onto a flat floured surface and divide into two equal parts.
Using a rolling pin roll a rectangular crust of the first amount of dough - the original recipe size is 20x40 cm, but I have made mine thinner and larger – about 40x60 cm.
Spread the crust with half of the pesto, leaving about 2-3 cm clear edges.
Sprinkle with half of the finely shredded Parmesan.
Fold inside the clear edges long ways the crust and roll it up by pinching edge of dough slightly at the end.
With sharp knife, carefully cut the dough down the center length wise.
Open the cut roll exposing the inside of it. Take the two cut pieces and braid them together with the cut side always facing up.
Once done with braiding, carefully transfer the braid into 26-28 cm pan lined with baking paper or greased well and lightly floured, and twist the braid.
Repeat the whole procedure with the second crust.
If the baking pan is twice larger, twist both braids into the same pan, one at a time.
Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap or cotton cloth and leave the bread to rise for about 30 minutes or until it almost doubles in bulk again.
Bake in preheated 360 F oven for 30-35 minutes, as after about 15-20 minutes cover it with baking paper or cooking foil – to prevent it burning.
Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Serve warm - for breakfast :)) or any time of day.
Even chilled, it is incredibly tasty too!!


The best bread ever!!


12 yield


Monday, January 3, 2011 - 5:28am

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