This bread is easy and quick to make and is as delicious as pretty to look at. Your guests will nibble on this all evening and everyone can break off a piece of the bread as they like.
It is easy to vary the filling for this recipe. You can leave out the bacon or add some feta cheese or more herbs or…
I will try to add the American measurements for this recipe soon.
for the dough:
1 pouch dry active yeast
300 ml water (lukewarm)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 dash sugar
1 dash salt
for the filling:
200g pesto (one small jar)
a handfull of basil (fresh or frozen)
150g bacon (in small cubes)
For the dough combine the flour, dry active yeast, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Then, using the dough hook attachment of your mixer, add the water and olive to the dry ingredients and mix everything on low speed first, then on high speed for about 4 or 5 minutes. It is important that you keep mixing for long enough or the yeast won’t be able to rise properly and the pesto bread won’t come out right. You’ll want to keep mixing until everything is nicely combined and seems smooth, the dough will come off the sides of bowl easily when it’s ready and form a nice ball.
Now sprinkle a bit of flour on the dough, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes or until it’s doubled in size. If it’s too cold in your house, the dough will need longer to rise.
Now heat the oven to 180°C and grease a round cake pan. Any other pan of about that size will work also.
Roll out the dough on a surface sprinkled with flour so the dough won’t stick to it. It should measure about 45×35 cm. Spread the pesto over the entire surface and add the basil and bacon. Press it on a little bit so it won’t fall off in the next step.
Now cut the dough lengthwise in strips of about 3,5 cm. Then cut every strip in three equal pieces. Take one strip in your hands and push it into a wave-like shape. Put this piece upright in the middle of your cake pan. Repeat this step with all the other pieces and place them around the first piece in a circular pattern.
Now cover the pan with the kitchen towel again and let it rise in a warm place until it’s visibly expanded in size, about 30-45 minutes.
Bake for about 45 minutes. Place some baking paper under the pan if you’re using one with a detachable bottom, as some oil might drip out. When it’s doen baking, the bread will sound a little hollow when you tap on it with your finger or finger nail (I know, brave.. haha)
Take the bread out of the pan and let it cool before serving. Great addition to your BBQ or party, or as a hearty snack when you enjoy some wine with friends. Each person can break off a piece of the bread as they like. No need to cut or anything, no mess.
This recipe is really versatile and you can add whatever you like. Use feta cheese instead of bacon. Or add some grated parmesan cheese, or add other herbs like rosemary. My tip: I like replacing some of the flour ( about 1/3) with whole wheat flour. It’s a bit healthier this way and you don’t taste the difference. Just Remember that you might have to add a little more water to the dough if you use whole wheat flour.