Pesto Garland Bread

The Pesto Garland Bread Recipe is a loaf lightly flavored with rye and spread with fragrant homemade pesto, this bread is perfect for serving at a buffet lunch or taking on a picnic, as the slices can be pulled off in individual portions. It also looks amazing!

Rising and proofing time:
1 3⁄4– 2 1⁄4 hrs

Special equipment:
food processor with blade attachment

2½ tsp dried yeast
3⁄4 cup rye flour
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
extra virgin olive oil for greasing and glazing
leaves from 1 large bunch of basil
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tbsp olive oil
1⁄3 cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped
2oz (60g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper

1 In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over 1.4 cup taken from 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water.

2 Letstand for about 5 minutes, until dissolved, stirring once. Put the rye flour and half the all-purpose flour in the bowl of a food processor with the salt.

3 Combine the yeast and remaining water and pour in, blending just until mixed. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix after each addition, until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.

4 Continue working the dough for 60 seconds, until elastic. Turn onto a floured work surface and remove the blade.

5 Shape into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 1–1½ hours, until doubled in bulk.

6 Pulse the basil and garlic in the food processor. Work until coarsely chopped. With the blades turning, gradually add 3 tablespoons oil until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the pine nuts, Parmesan, and plenty of black pepper.

7 Brush a baking sheet with oil. Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead to knock out the air. Cover and let rest for about 5 minutes.

8 Flatten the dough, then roll it into a 16 x 12in (40 x 30cm) rectangle with a rolling pin. Spread the pesto evenly over the dough, leaving a ½in (1cm) border.

9 Starting with a long end, roll up the rectangle into an even cylinder. Running the length of the cylinder, pinch the seam firmly together. Do not seal the ends.

10 Transfer the cylinder, seam-side down, to the baking sheet. Curve it into a ring, sealing the ends. With a sharp knife, make a series of deep cuts around the ring, about 2in (5cm) apart.

11 Pull the slices apart slightly and twist them over to lie flat. Cover with a dry kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, until doubled in bulk.

12 Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Brush the loaf with oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce to 375°F (190°C), and bake for 20–25 minutes, until golden. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve the same day.

Pesto Garland Bread
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