I think it's rare nowadays for people to make bread from scratch. But THIS bread is totally worth it. (And, I'll share a secret with you - it's not even that difficult to make.) It's the perfect companion to any Italian dish you might serve up.
Pesto Swirl Bread
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 Tbsp rapid rise yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 tsp sugar
2 3/4 tsp salt
1 8 oz. jar prepared pesto
Olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley and Parmesan cheese for the top
- In a mixer bowl, hand whisk water and yeast together and let stand for 2-3 minutes to dissolve yeast. Add one cup flour and stir briefly. Then stir in oil, sugar, salt, and remaining flour. Mix ingredients and then attach dough hook and knead on lowest speed 6 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary.
- Remove dough hook from machine and dough from bowl. Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover bowl and set dough aside to rise. Let rise for 45-90 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
- Gently deflate dough on a lightly floured surface. Let rest 10 minutes and then roll out to a 20 X 20 inch shape. If dough resists, let it rest a few more minutes then roll out gently.
- Spread pesto evenly all over dough's surface. Roll up jelly roll style. Shape into an "S" shape and put on a large, sturdy baking sheet.
- Drizzle olive oil on top of dough and dust with salt, pepper, parsley, and Parmesan cheese. Set aside to rise until puffy, about 45-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 35 minutes or until well browned. Cool to warm on baking sheet before serving.