Pesto Bread

  • 2 c. warm water
  • 1 tsp. olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan and brushing on the finished bread
  • 4 ½ c. flour
  • 2 tsp. yeast
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • ⅓ c. pesto — I used a roasted vegetable pesto, but any kind will work
  • 1 tsp. mixed coarse spices — I used garlic, red pepper flake, and dried basil

In the pan of your bread maker, place the first six ingredients (water through sugar) in that order. Choose the dough setting, close the lid, and start the bread machine.

After the cycle has run (it should take about an hour and a half), carefully remove the dough and set it on a lightly floured surface (or a large silicone baking mat). Carefully press it out into a 12" x 16" rectangle and spread the pesto of your choice evenly over the top of the dough, leaving about 1" on all sides uncovered. Carefully roll up the dough along the longest part of the rectangle. It doesn't matter if you pinch or twist the bread while you do this.

Oil a large loaf pan and set the rolled dough into the pan and sprinkle with your coarse spice mixture. Preheat the oven to 500° F, allowing the loaf to rise while the oven preheats.

Place the loaf pan in the preheated oven and toss 3-4 ice cubes in the bottom of the oven before closing the door. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the bread is golden and puffed. Remove and cool slightly before brushing with more olive oil and removing from the pan to fully cool.

  • Yields: 1 large loaf of bread
  • Preparation Time: About 2 hours
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