Pesto Bread

I used to make bread without a bread machine ... about once or twice a year. Since having one though, I use the dough cycle and make it at least once a month and once a week during cooler months. And when warmer months are around, I turn over and over again to this simple recipe that gives me two beautiful round loaves of bread bursting with pesto flavor.

You can use pesto purchased from the store, the farmers' market, or made at home. Choose one you really love because it is the main flavoring component of this bread. It's so good, you guys. Also, if you do not use the vital wheat gluten, opt for bread flour, which already has it mixed in. It will give you a better rise, a softer crumb, and a chewier texture. Yum!

This is my go-to summer bread. I toast it on the grill and add diced tomatoes and garlic. I turn it into croutons for my panzanella. I use it when making summer's finest BLTs. You get the idea. When I'm not sure what to have for breakfast, I toast some of this and slather it with butter and peel an orange. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Pesto Bread

  • 4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 1 ½ c. warm water
  • ¼ c. prepared pesto
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast

Before assembling in the bread machine, lightly whisk the flour and vital wheat gluten. Place the ingredients in your bread machine according to the manufacturer's directions. Start the machine on the dough setting.

When the dough cycle is complete, remove the dough with floured hands and cut it in half on a floured surface.

Take each half of the dough and roll it to make a round.

Place the loaves on a greased baking sheet (or cover the sheet with a silicone baking mat) and cover them with a tea towel.

Let the dough rise for about a half hour. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Bake for the loaves for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown, turning the pan around once halfway during baking. Remove the baked loaves to wire racks to cool before slicing and enjoying.

  • Yields: 2 loaves
  • Preparation Time: About 3 hours, but most of that is cycle runtime and post shaping rise time

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