Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pesto Bread

Pesto Bread
Makes 2 loaves
(Adapted from The Italian Dish)

1 loaf frozen bread, thawed
1/2 - 1 jar Pesto alla Genovese

I let the dough thaw on a plate in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours. Don't be alarmed, it is supposed to rise. Roll out your thawed dough on a well-floured surface. Roll it into a long rectangle, make sure your dough rectangle isn't longer than your pan! (No, of course the first batch I made didn't do that...No, there are no pictures) 

Spread a layer of pesto over the whole dough rectangle. You can put as much as you want on, I used almost the whole jar, although it was more of a challenge to roll up. Roll as tightly as you can, but don't squeeze out the pesto. Tuck the ends underneath and slash the top gently a few times, don't go all the way to the pesto layer! Move to a baking stone, or large baking sheet. It shouldn't stick, but if you are worried, brush the pan with some olive oil, it won't hurt. Place your bread on top of your oven and start heating your oven to 450degrees. 
Keeping your bread on top of the heating oven is kind-of a cheat. The warmth from the oven helps it rise a little more. Once the oven is ready, bake for about 30-40 minutes. The top should be a nice deep golden brown. 

Or, if you are like me, it was more of an 'eh' brown, so I brushed it with some olive oil (Sundried-Tomato Parmesan and Garlic by choice, but they all work) and popped it back in the oven for five minutes.
Let the bread cool before you slice it. It doesn't have to be cold, but you don't want hot pesto to burn your hands. Let it cool. Even though it smells so good....

And is sooo good.

I know that bread makers are going to be rolling their eyes at me and telling me how horrible it is to use frozen dough. You can very easily make your own dough, there are plenty of websites that will show you some of their best. The website this recipe is adapted from suggests a no-knead bread recipe that is really lovely. But I thought this turned out really well. It doesn't have to be fancy to be really good. 

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