Braided ‘Pull-apart’ Pesto bread!

Today’s post features two of my favorite things in the foodie world- Baking & Pesto.

I am a huge fan of green basil pesto. It is so fragrant and delicious and pretty. As soon as I make a batch, I am worried about it getting finished. Yep, that’s me.

Baking, I absolutely love! Somehow, it soothes me. The day I have to bake, I wake up with a big smile. Even after so many years of baking, I find it as exciting as I did while making my first cake – a chocolate cake that a twelve-year-old-me attempted, that resulted in melting of half of the plastic container I was making it in!!! Oh, the scolding I got!!!

Anyway.

I love the process of measuring, whipping and kneading; waiting as the dough rises in the oven and the house fills with the buttery, aromatic scents. I love pulling the pans out of the oven and finding the dough (and all the effort put) transformed into something beautiful.

Long story short…..I love baking! ๐Ÿ™‚

This pesto bread, therefore, is obviously my dream dish. It is extremely easy to make and insanely delicious to eat. It’s crazy how such an easy process can result in something that is stunning to serve, and is equally tasty too. The braid makes it look beautiful and pesto gives it its beautiful color and fantastic flavor.

So, give this recipe a go friends, and enjoy!!

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Ingredients-ย 

For the Pesto-

– 2 cups fresh basil leaves

– 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

– 3 tbsn toasted pine nuts

– 2 garlic cloves

– 3 tbsn grated Parmesan cheese

– 1 tbsn lemon juice

For the Dough-ย 

– 1 cup plain flour

– ยผ cup warm milk

– 1 tsp quick action dry yeast

– 1 tsp sugar

– 1 tspย salt

– 1 tsp mixed Italian herb seasoning

– 2 tsp melted butter

– 2 tsp olive oil

– Extra flour for dusting

Also needed-

– 1 egg (optional but strongly recommended)

– Some chopped nuts of your choice

– 1-2 tbsn grated Parmesan

Method:

Let us make our dough first!

– Firstly, let us activate the yeast. In a large mixing bowl, take luke-warm milk, dry yeast and sugar. Mix well and keep to rest for 10 mins. Remember, milk should be strictly lukewarm.ย Not hot or cold.ย That will kill the yeast.

– When you see a foamy layer on top of your mixture, that indicates that your yeast has activated well!

– To it, add your flour, salt, melted butter, olive oil and mixed Italian herb seasoning.ย Combine itย into a softย dough. If the dough is looking a bit dry, you can add 1-2 tbsn water to it.

– Dust some flour on the kitchen platform and knead your dough very well for 8-9 minutes. Look up โ€˜stretch-and-pullโ€™ method on the internet. This step is very essential ย as we need to activate the gluten in the dough. Knead into a smooth ball.

– Grease a bowl with oil and place your dough in it. The bowl should be large and deep as the dough will rise and get doubled in size. Coat the dough well with some more oil and cover the top of the bowl tightly in a cling-wrap.

– Rest in the warm place for 1 โ€“ 1.5 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare your pesto.

– ย In a food processor- add the basil leaves, nuts, lemon juice and garlic. Start blending everything up while slowly adding the extra-virgin olive oil. Blend till you get a coarse mixture.

– ย Transfer the pesto mixture to the bowl and stir in the grated parmesan, along with salt and pepper. Add in more olive oil if your pesto looks dry.ย Your pesto is ready. Refrigerate.

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– ย After 1-1.5 hours, take out the dough from the oven and dispose of the cling-wrap. Immerse your index finger right in the middle of the dough till the bottom of the bowl, to make a hole. If the hole stays prominent and in place, your dough has risen enough.

– Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.

– With a closed fist, gently punch the dough to release the air out of your dough.

– Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes more on the dusted kitchen platform and form into a smooth ball.

– With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangular, thin base.

– Leaving a ยฝ inch border on all sides, spread your pesto evenly on your dough surface. Do not use too much pesto or it will make the dough oily and unable to stick well. It should be a thin layer.

– Grate some more Parmesan cheese over the pesto layer.

– With one of the wider sides, start rolling the dough into a long tube, pinching the sides closed as you go along. In the end, it should resemble a long cylinder. Ensure that it is sealed well from all around.

– Using a sharp knife, slice your dough into two halves, along the length of the tube.

– Braid the two halves, such that the cut, green ends remain on top. This is what will make your bread pretty!

– Pinch both the ends well, so that the knots do not loosen up or come apart while baking.

– Transfer to a greased loaf tin. Cover with cling film and set aside for 30 minutes for the dough to rise again.

– Prepare your egg-wash. In a bowl, break an egg and whisk it till fluffy. Set aside.

– After 30 mins, using a pastry brush, brush your egg wash on the surface of your bread. This will give your bread a beautiful glaze! Do not use the entire egg-wash!ย You will only need a little to brush on top of your bread, preserve the rest for later use in other dishes.

– Top your bread with shredded Parmesan cheese and coarsely chopped nuts of your choice.

– Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool completely on a wire rack and slice. Enjoy with hot soup or as it is. Enjoy!

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*Notes-

– Substitute the plain flour with the bread flour if you wish, but the former gives great results too!

– In case, pine nuts are unavailable, you can easily substitute them with cashews or even toasted peanuts!

– Egg wash is optional but I recommend it for a beautiful shiny glaze.

– Refrigerate the leftover pesto for use in other dishes, upto two days.

– Cooking time may vary according to the different oven brands. Keep a close eye on your bread while it is baking.

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80 Comments Add yours

  1. Adam says:

    Neat idea. I’ll try that with some wild garlic leaf pesto that we still have left.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx Adam! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so easy!

      Like

  2. Lovely braided bread. Love the idea of adding pesto in it.
    Meena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx a lot Meena! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so easy to make and looks fancy ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow Looks delicious

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx so much! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. poonampagar says:

    The braided pesto bread looks just awesome ..I wish I can do it so beautifully someday.. bookmarked it ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx so much poonam! Trust me. it’s very easy!

      Like

  5. Bookmarking the recipe. Braided pesto bread looks awesome. Excellent clicks. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx so so much! โค

      Like

    1. Thankyou! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. alkajena says:

    The braided bread with pesto looks lovely and will try for sure

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx soo much! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  7. Aruna says:

    I love basil pesto too and this is a great use of it. Just a clear soup on the side, and dinner is ready!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Aruna! I too served it with vegetable soup and lunch was sorted. Thanx soo muuch! โค

      Like

  8. Love bread and this looks delicious ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx dearie! โค

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Looks amazing ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That looks so very beautiful! I don’t know much about baking – I can do some simple cookies and cakes, following a set recipe, but my brain refuses to co-operate beyond that. This is extraordinary, for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe thanx so very much Priya! ๐Ÿ™‚ I find baking therapeutic. Even before I learnt traditional cooking, I learn how to bake cakes. We all have our favorite departments in our respective kitchens, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Baking is mine โค

      Like

      1. Yes, true that. Mine is proper, on-the-stove cooking. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Sasmita says:

    Breaded pesto bread looks perfect ๐Ÿ˜˜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx Sasmita!๐Ÿค—

      Like

  12. Beautiful way of flavouring the braided bread. Beautiful photography by Abhay๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much dear Pushpita!๐Ÿ˜˜

      Like

  13. Wow!! This braided bread looks so pretty and delicious! I love the detailed recipe! I am a novice with yeast.. but the detailed steps are less intimidating ๐Ÿ˜€ Can’t wait to try!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe thanx so much girl! I too started working with yeast only a couple of months ago! Nowadays, you get fast action yeast easily so there’s nothing to it really!๐Ÿ˜Š All the very best!! You will rock! x

      Like

  14. Amrita says:

    I just love breads and this has made my day today!Awesome share dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Amrita!๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  15. arv! says:

    This one I need to have. Looks tempting

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      1. arv! says:

        ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

        Like

  16. Vidya Narayan says:

    am a huge bread lover & nothing beats homemade loaves. can someone say no to pesto?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so hear you! Killer combo!๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Neetha says:

    Such a beautiful looking bread.. Love pull apart breads..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too! Thankyouu!๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  18. lathiya says:

    Looks pretty..awesome recipe..thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx Lathiya!๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  19. This braid looks so beautiful and we seem to have these two things in common-love for baking and pesto ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx Veena! ๐Ÿ˜ Love them both!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ

      Like

  20. ‘Braided Pesto Bread’ wooow u r amazing Mallika…love all ur recipes ใ€€ This bread looks so tempting

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe Thanx soo much!! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Like

  21. PriyaPandian says:

    Looks greatโ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx Priya! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  22. I also love basil pesto. This looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx so much!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  23. My Real Dish says:

    You are so creative! This looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou so much!๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  24. jyo says:

    Impressive share…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Looks so beautiful and tempting…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx Dimple! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  26. atticsister says:

    Sounds yummy! Basil is always growing near our back door, in our garden, and in the kitchen in the winter months. Pesto is almost a staple in our house but I’ve never put it IN bread. Thanks for this recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh how lovely! I’d love to grow these herbs at home but Ireland’s weather seems to be a bit harsh for that. Tried growing coriander and basil twice and failed! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I love basil sooo much! Thanx for dropping by! ๐Ÿ˜€ x

      Like

      1. atticsister says:

        Basil does pretty good inside during the winter in the Chicago area but it gets leggy. Not a problem when using it for pesto.

        Like

  27. InspiresN says:

    That looks absolutely delicious! love it .The food photography is awesome too!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx Nisha! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  28. Gauri says:

    You’ve made it so easy would love to try the recipe soon….๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx so much Gauri! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gauri says:

        Pleasure is all mine….

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Gauri says:

    Hey!
    I have nominated you for the “Unique Blogger Award” check it out-
    https://thatblessedlife.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/unique-blogger-award/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx a lot Gauri! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

      1. Gauri says:

        Most welcome dear…๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Now I had to make this recipe ..Looks tempting ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx so much!๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  31. This is looking amazing Mallika..kudos to you..Loved the recipe..Bookmarked it..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx so much anshu!๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  32. blondieaka says:

    This sounds so yummy all my favourite things..Thank you for the folow I hope you enjoy my ramblings ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx so much! Likewise for the follow and thanx for dropping by๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Truly delicious and beautiful! ๐Ÿ™‚ Pesto is my favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx Kriti! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  34. Mayuri Patel says:

    The pesto bread looks really good. I too love baking and never get tired of it. For me basil pesto is like a pot of gold as its difficult to find basil in Mombasa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanx so much Mayuri!๐Ÿ˜Š

      Like

  35. Megala says:

    Great pastry work! Kudos!!

    Liked by 1 person

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