Once upon a time I made a fabulous pesto.
Then I had that pesto and didn’t know what to do with it besides serving atop giant portions of pasta, my personal favorite. Somehow that just wasn’t enough carbohydrates. I had to have more. So I did what any sensible carb-hungry person would do (is that an oxymoron? I think not…) and made bread with it. Lots and lots of bread smothered in lots and lots of cheese and pesto.
At first I was scared. I had never heard about pull-apart bread, although when I did hear about it you can bet I was kicking myself for not having come up with it on my own. It’s only the best invention ever created. But as the dough baked away in the oven my fears were quelled, falling by the wayside with every whiff of yeasty goodness I inhaled.
P.S. I hate the word yeast. See also yeasty, yeastiness, yeastology, yeaster, and yeastish. None of which are actually words, but I think you guys catch my drift. I know we’re close like that.
The outcome? Perfectly baked bread, cheesy, and with a ton of flavor from the pesto. WOW is what you’ll say, and WOW is what your friends and family will say. Because trust me, after a huge bowl of pasta and a half loaf of bread you’ll be wanting to share a little love!
POBLANO PESTO PULL-APART BREAD
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 envelope)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Charred Poblano Cilantro Pesto
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour with the sugar, salt, and yeast and stir to mix. In a saucepan heat milk and 1/4 cup of butter over low heat until butter is just melted, then set aside for 1 minute and add 1/4 cup of water. Add milk mixture to the flour and stir to combine. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined. This will take a few minutes. Add the remaining flour and knead the dough. It will still be sticky but don’t add more flour.
Set dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel, then set in a warm place to rise for one hour. Punch the dough down and dump it onto a lightly floured board. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a giant rectangle, about 12×12 inches wide and tall. Brush the dough with the Charred Poblano Cilantro Pesto and then cover with the grated Parmesan.
Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 even strips. Carefully lay the strips on top of each other and then cut into 6 pieces again. Butter and lightly flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan – I also layed a layer of parchment paper on the bottom. Layer the square slices into the loaf pan cut side down. Cover the dough with a towel and let rise for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set the loaf pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.