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Bakers Delight, Bread Basket, Recipes

Sunday Baking: Easy Peasy Pesto Rolls

13 Mar , 2016  

While we’re all dying in the crazy heat in Mumbai, I think I might have stumbled upon a silver lining to this crazy situation… bread making! Any kind of yeasted dough rises like a dream in this hot and humid weather, making this the ideal weather to bake homemade breads.

I usually cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave it in my balcony or window to rise, as opposed to leaving it in my oven. The result? Double the volume in less than an hour! And really, all the gloating you hear about homemade breads is 100% true… they give your house a homely aroma and are unparalleled in texture and flavour. And of course, the ultimate comfort food! I’ve been making pizzas almost every week, using my recipe for homemade pizza dough, and these classic bread rolls, filled with pesto sauce, come a close second.

Instant dry yeast or rapid rise yeast is what I like to work with, mostly because I find the active dry yeast that is available in most stores in India, highly unreliable. I bought some Gloripan Yeast online, and now store it in an airtight container in the freezer. Trust me, this works like a charm! Be sure to use a clean and dry spoon when you scoop out the yeast from the jar. Usually, you would add fresh or active dry yeast to warm milk and sugar to make it ‘bloom’, while you would add the instant yeast to the dry ingredients. Here, we’re going to add the instant dry yeast to the warm milk and stir it in till it dissolves. No sugar, that’ll go with the flour and the salt.pesto-rolls-recipe.1024x1024 (1)

The dry ingredients get whisked together, make a well in the centre, and add the olive oil and milk with dissolved yeast. Stir everything together, and knead!pesto-rolls-recipe.1024x1024 (2)

This is what I’m talking about!

The dough needs to be rolled into a rectangle that’s a quarter-of-an-inch thick. I’ve used this recipe for Pesto sauce, but I’m thinking that any sort of homemade chutney would go well too. pesto-rolls-recipe.1024x1024 (3)

Slice them up and line them up for a second rise. Brush with milk and off to bake!

And we’re ready to dig in. They’re best had slightly warm and don’t restrict them to dinner time, they’re pretty great with a cup of coffee too!

Makes 6 to 8 rolls

– ½ cup lukewarm milk
– ¾ tsp instant dry yeast
– 200 gms all purpose flour, sifted (extra for dusting the work surface)
– 1 tbs granulated sugar
– ½ tsp salt
– 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil + extra for greasing the bowl
– Softened butter for greasing baking dish
– Milk for brushing the rolls

For the filling
¼ cup (or more) Pesto sauce


– Stir the yeast into the warm milk and set it aside to dissolve.

– In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and milk. Stir together to combine.

– Knead the dough by hand or on medium speed of a stand mixer until it is smooth in texture and spring-y to the touch. Shape the dough into a ball and place it on the kitchen counter while you quickly brush the inside of the bowl with the extra oil. Pop the dough back in the bowl, coating it with the oil from the bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Leave it to rise for an hour, or until it has doubled in volume.

– Once the dough has risen, use a rolling pin to roll it out on a lightly floured work surface and shape into a rectangle (roughly), ¼ -inch in thickness. Spread the pesto sauce, leaving a ½-inch border along the sides. Roll from the longer edge, into a coil shape. Cut into 6 to 8 pieces and arrange in a baking dish that is greased with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for another 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

– Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, allow it to cool slightly before serving. These are best eaten warm.pesto-rolls-recipe.1024x1024 (4)

This post is written by Tarika Singh for her blog TotheT.

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