This blog is slowly becoming all about baking. Funny, but I actually don't bake that often. It's less than once a week on average and I cook something different almost every day. The thing is, baked goods are so much easier to photograph. Bread tastes great both warm and room temperature; and sweets actually need to be cooled. Whereas dinners need to be eaten right away. I guess I could setup a shot while dinner is cooking in the oven and do a quick photo session, but it's usually late and I'm tired. Also, most of the recipes are too quick and easy to warrant a separate blog post, although I did make a wicked lentil-biscuit pot pie that I'd like to share.
I had two bunches of dill in my fridge a couple of weeks ago. One I bought to make a nice garlic-herb rub for roast leg of lamb, and the other was given to me by my best friend since she couldn't finish it. I knew right away that the easiest way to use up all the dill would be to make Dill Pesto, but I wasn't sure what to make with it and then I came across this recipe.
This bread recipe is one of my favourite right now. It looks beautiful and impressive and tastes amazing.
adapted from The Big Book of Bread
Dry yeast - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Sugar - 1 tablespoon
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Warm water - 1 1/4 cups
Pest - 3 tablespoons or more
Cheese, grated (I used pecorino) - 1/3 cup or more
Milk to glaze
- Grease a deep 9-inch round cake pan and set aside.
- Sift the flour, sugar and yeast into a bowl of electric stand mixer.
- Mix in enough water to form a soft dough.
- Add the salt. I always like adding salt once sugar and yeast are combined.
- Knead the dough with a hook on low speed for about 10 minutes until it's smooth and does not stick to the sides of the bowl anymore.
- Shape the dough into a round, place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour until it doubles in size.
- Punch the dough down on a floured worktop, then roll out to form a 16x11-inch rectangle.
- Spread the pesto sauce over the dough, then sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Starting from a long side, roll up the dough tightly like a jelly roll.
- Cut into 16 even slices, then place the rolls, cut-side up, in a circular pattern in the prepared cake pan.
- Cover and let rise again for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Brush the spirals with milk, then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until they become deep golden-brown colour.
- Pull the rolls apart to serve.
- They taste great both warm or room temperature.
I never measure ingredients for Pesto, so I can't give a precise recipe, but this is how I make it.
I put herbs (any herbs, dill, parsley, cilantro... I don't like basil, so I never use it and I don't buy pesto because of that), garlic, nuts (usually pecans because they are my favourite) and a little bit of oil in a food processor and chop it until it's very fine. I do not add cheese. I add water to make the consistency a bit more spreadable without adding oil and I add a pinch of salt.