Mama Redbuck bakes up a delicious Parmesan Pesto Bread Recipe.
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5 ½ cups unbleached BREAD FLOUR
2 cups WARM WATER (approx. 130 degrees F)
2-4Tbsp OLIVE OIL
2 Tbsp SUGAR
½ cup SKIM MILK POWDER
1 Tbsp KOSHER SALT
1 Tbsp INSTANT YEAST
PESTO (approx. 1 cup divided between loaves)
1 cup PARMESAN CHEESE (shredded and divided)
a sprinkle of CORN MEAL
(recipe makes 2 loaves)
Sift 5 ½ cups of unbleached bread flour. Bread flour has a higher gluten count than all-purpose flour; gluten holds in the gases released by the yeast, enabling the bread to rise.
In a bowl, add 2 cups of warm water (approx 130 degrees F). Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, sugar, milk powder, salt, and yeast. Mix well.
1 cup at a time, add the sifted flour into the bowl until the dough thickens. Do not add all of the dough into the bowl. As soon as the dough in the bowl reaches a density forming a sticky ball, remove dough from the bowl and place onto a surface coated with flour. Continue adding the sifted flour to the ball, turning and folding the flour into the dough ball. Continue this kneading process for 8-10 minutes, adding dough as needed (the entire 5 ½ cups may not be needed). Kneading transforms the dough into a more elastic consistency, enabling the gluten in the dough to better trap the gases from the yeast.
After kneading, place the dough into a bowl coated with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. The bowl should be at least twice the size of the dough ball. Cover bowl and set aside for 45-60 minutes to allow the dough to rise. The dough will expand to approx. double in size.
When dough has risen, push a floured fist into the top of the dough—this will release the gas. Remove dough from bowl and divide into equal halves (equal halves will cook equally in the oven).
With a rolling pin, spread one of the dough halves into a square approx. 9 X 14 inches. Spread ½ cup of prepared pesto evenly over the flattened dough. Sprinkle top with ½ cup shredded, parmesan cheese. Roll up the dough and toppings into a 14 inch “burrito” shape, folding and pinching the ends shut. With a sharp knife, cut lengthwise down the center of the rolled bread, creating halves. Cut gingerly, being mindful not crush the layers of dough, and leave one of the very ends attached so as to not separate the halves completely. Fold the bread halves into a braid. Keep the cut sides of dough facing upward.
Coat a loaf pan with olive oil and sprinkle the bottom of the pan with a light dusting of corn meal; this will help keep the bread from sticking to the bottom of the pan as it bakes. Transfer braided bread “face-up” into pan and cover.
Repeat this processes with the other dough half and then set the 2 loaf pans aside for 1 hour to allow them to continue to rise.
After the loaves have risen, place them in an oven pre-heated to 375 degrees F and bake approx. 35-40 minutes.
Remove bread from oven. Parmesan cheese and pesto may be melted to the inside of the pan and you may need to cut around the edges of the pan with a knife. Remove loaves and place on a cooling rack, but don’t let the bread cool for too long before cutting off a slice—it’s delicious warm.
Give this Parmesan Pesto Bread Recipe a try and let me know what you think, and bon appétit.
Watch Mama Redbuck cook up a beautiful Focaccia Bread Recipe