What’s better than fresh, fluffy bread that you’ve made at home? Homemade bread that’s filled with a swirl of gorgeous green pesto! It’s perfect for serving with soups, enjoying plain, or with your favourite spread.
This homemade loaf is a fun twist on garlic bread. Our pesto bread is fluffy with a soft golden crust, and a filling of tasty vegan pesto. It seems everyone is suddenly into making bread at home now, so now seemed like the perfect time to share this recipe with you! It’s also great if you’ve got half a jar of pesto lurking at the back of your fridge.
If you’ve never made bread before we encourage you to give it a go. It can take some time with the kneading and rising processes, but we hope you find it a relaxing and rewarding experience. (Kneading for 10 minutes can be very therapeutic I find!)
Read on for pesto tips, step by step pics and the detailed process.
What kind of pesto?
We use our own homemade vegan pesto. Pesto can be made out of all kinds of green leaves, it’s the perfect recipe for using up an abundance of fresh produce, and cutting down on food waste.
If you don’t have any pesto on hand, use this basic recipe to quickly make yourself a jar!
- 2 cups greens (spinach, basil, carrot tops, coriander, wild garlic...)
- 2 tbsp nuts or seeds (pine nuts, cashews, walnuts, sunflower, pumpkin…)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves of garlic (omit if using wild garlic leaves)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp olive oil
Blend all the ingredients together (or very finely chop if you don’t have a blender). You’ll need ½ a cup of pesto for this loaf. We’ve not tested the recipe with shop bought pesto, which may be slightly oiler.
Transfer the leftovers into a clean jar, and store in the fridge. For more pesto making tips check out our Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto, which is our fave pesto to use in this bread!
Making the dough
The dough has just 6 ingredients. White flour, dried yeast, salt, sugar, olive oil and water.
Here’s how you make the dough step by step:
Step 1: Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl, keeping the salt and yeast separate.
Step 2: Add the water and olive oil.
Step 3: Using a spatula, mix into a rough dough.
Step 4: Transfer the dough onto a well floured board and dust your hands with flour. Start to knead it, by stretching and folding the dough on itself. If after the first couple of minutes it’s not getting less sticky, then add a bit more flour and keep kneading until the dough is elastic and has a smooth surface.
Step 5: Form the dough into a ball, and leave to rise in a bowl lightly greased with oil. Cover the bowl with a tea towel, and leave in a warm spot for an hour.
Step 6: When the dough has doubled in size, you’re ready to shape the loaf!
Shaping the loaf
And now we can shape our pesto bread!
Step 1: Cover a large board or work surface in a good dusting of flour. Gently tip the dough out of the bowl onto the centre of the board. Dust a rolling pin with flour, and gently roll out the dough into a circle around 30cm/12 inches in diameter. You can make it a bit larger for more defined swirls, but don’t roll out thinner than half a centimeter.
Step 2: Cover the dough circle in pesto. Leaving a 3cm/1 inch margin around the edge.
Step 3: Roll up the circle into a loaf shape.
Step 4: Gently transfer or slide the loaf onto baking parchment on a baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove (a second rise) the loaf for around 30 minutes.
Step 5: To test the loaf is ready to bake, gently press your fingertip into the dough, the dough should slowly bounce back most of the way. Brush the surface with soy milk. This makes the crust more golden and shiny.
Step 6: Bake the loaf at 220C (420F) for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it cool on a wire rack.
More tasty bread recipes to try!
We hope you enjoyed making (and eating!) our pesto bread. It goes really well with our Creamy Wild Garlic Soup! If you fancy some more bread baking, try these other fun recipes...
This yummy Super Seedy Sourdough Loaf loaf is packed full of good stuff. (And perfect if you are having trouble getting white flour or yeast at the moment!) It's the darker, denser bread of Paul's homeland of Austria, and is super nutritious and filling.
We also adore making our own vegan pizzas and sweet calzones. We use this No Knead Pizza Dough that’s super easy and makes tasty, crispy & fluffy crusts.
Making the dough
- Measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl, keeping the salt and yeast separate
- Add the water and olive oil, and roughly mix into a dough. Depending on the absorbancy of your flour, you may need to add more to make it not too sticky.
- Transfer the dough onto a well floured board and dust your hands with flour
- Knead the dough by stretching and folding the dough on itself for 10 minutes. If after the first couple of minutes it’s not getting less sticky, then add a bit more flour and keep kneading until the dough is elastic and has a smooth surface.
- Form the dough into a ball, and place in a bowl lightly greased with oil
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel, and leave to rise in a warm spot for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size
Shaping and baking
- Cover a large board or work surface and a rolling pin in a good dusting of flour
- Gently tip the dough out of the bowl onto the centre of the board and roll out the dough into a circle around 30cm/12 inches in diameter
- Spread the pesto on the dough circle in pesto, leaving a 3cm/1 inch margin around the edge
- Roll up the circle into a loaf shape
- Gently transfer or slide the loaf onto baking parchment on a baking sheet
- Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove for around 30 minutes. To test the loaf is ready to bake, gently press your fingertip into the dough, the dough should slowly bounce back most of the way.
- Brush the surface of the loaf with soy milk
- Bake the loaf at 220C (420F) on top/bottom heat for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. You'll know it's fully cooked when it sounds hollow when you tap the underside.
- Let it cool on a wire rack
Sending you lots of love and tasty food!
Sophie & Paul