Pesto Cheese Bread

There are often times, when I unsuccessfully prepare a recipe that I’ve never tried before. Like the Jewish Apple Bread I made last year, I have failed with this recipe too. However this is more of an aesthetic failure than a failure in recipe flavor or taste. Let’s play a little game of Action and Reaction…

Action:

I rolled my dough way too thin, and over filled it with too much pesto, butter and cheese.

Reaction:

The bread ruptured in multiple spots, causing a flood of biblical proportions. There was pandemonium, pesto and cheese was everywhere, cats and dogs were living together!! Okay, maybe that’s being a bit dramatic…

Okay, for the recipe:

In 1 cup of warm water, mix 2 tablespoons of yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

(The water should be at a temperature of 115 to 120 degrees, this is not negotiable, if the temperature is too high, it will kill the yeast, if the temperature is too low the yeast won’t grow.)

after about 15 minutes, it should look like this:

Now, add 2 tablespoons of Olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt, and stir to combine.

Sift 3 cups of flour into a bowl.

(I choose All purpose flour, because I have about 2 5lb bags of it I need to use up)

In a large bowl, add the yeast mixture, and mix the flour slowing into the yeast, adding in 1/2 cup increments. You are adding this in 1/2 cup increments, because you may not need to use all of the flour, it depends on how humid/hot the day is.

Once the mixture is almost combined, dump it out onto a floured surface and begin to knead  the mixture until it becomes smooth and you have taken out all of your frustrations of the day. After you’ve beat..ahm I mean you’ve kneaded your dough until it’s smooth. Go for another few minutes, the reason for this is we’re attempting to create gluten and elasticity.

Shape your dough into a neat little ball and place it into a glass or stainless steel bowl that has been coated with oil. Cover with a damp towel and allow to proof for exactly 1 hour.

After the hour is up, remove the damp towel. The dough should have risen, and doubled in size.

If your dough has NOT risen, then there is a problem. Either your water was too hot, or too cold. Maybe your yeast didn’t like you, or it’s feeling shy. Either way, you cannot continue if your dough didn’t proof.

If your dough did proof, then you can continue with this recipe!!

Punch down the risen dough to get the air out of it.

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces (which was my first mistake, mine were not equal).

The best and smartest way to do get 2 equal pieces of dough is to weigh the dough, and then split it into two pieces. Measure the pieces and add remove the surplus.

Roll out the first piece of dough into some sort of square. I’m not particularly good at this, so I ended up with a crazy oval shape. (This is the second mistake, I rolled the dough too thin, way too thin)

Okay, that’s not even an oval, good luck to me with rolling out dough! haha

Next, slather some room temperature butter all over this sucker and top it with your pesto sauce. (my third mistake, too much pesto and butter)

(After I made this bread I had a lot leftover so I decided to make Fettucini in creamy pesto sauce. )

Next top it with your cheese of choice. I picked mozzarella. (This was my fourth mistake, I overloaded this with cheese)

Were going to roll this up, starting from the bottom, pinch a small amount and begin to roll. Try to keep the roll tight, without thinning the dough. (This was my fifth mistake, I couldn’t keep it tight without stretching the dough.)

Do the same thing with the other piece of dough.

Place both rolls onto a greased sheet pan. Allow the rolls to rest, covered with a damp towel for 15 minutes.

While waiting, preheat your oven to 350*

After the 15 minutes are up, remove the towel, brush the rolls lightly with a beaten egg white and bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

I’m going to include a picture of the finished product, let me warn you, it’s not the prettiest looking thing. Prepare yourself for something Frankenstein looking.

Did I eat this? You bet your ass I did! Because it tasted great, so what if it looks horrible. After all of the work I put into it, I couldn’t shun the bread, It’s not in my nature.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Malou Prestado says:

    This looks very good! Baking is a trial and error thing. I just keep on doing it again and again and each time I tweak a bit of the process or the ingredients till I arrive at an acceptable result.

  2. Thank you 🙂 sometimes I get a bit frustrated when baking, because it takes so many steps, to only to fail.

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