PULL APART CHEESY PESTO LOAF

A star is born! This Pull-Apart Cheesy Pesto Loaf that my kids have been raving about for days is so good, you’ll forget to share. This beauty will be an easy addition to any meal.

INGREDIENTS

Dough:

500 g strong white flour

2 tsp salt

7 g fast action yeast

2 tbsp olive oil

280 ml of water

Pesto:

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

40 g basil

20 ml of olive oil

¼ tsp salt

20 g pine nuts, toasted

20 g parmesan, grated

To assemble:

250 g grated cheddar/mozzarella mix

Extra olive oil

How to make Pull-Apart Cheesy Pesto Loaf

To make the dough:

Step 1: Combine the flour and salt. Mix with the yeast, olive oil, and enough water. Knead until you have a soft dough.

Step 2: Use your hands to knead the dough until smooth and silky. Or mix in a stand mixer for about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Transfer the dough to a clean bowl. With a cling film, cover the dough. Allow it to rise to double the size for about an hour or an hour and a half.

Pesto:

Step 1: In a small frying pan, toast the pine nuts until they begin to change colour and aromatic.

Step 2: When done, allow the toasted pine nuts to cool for at least 5 minutes.

Step 3: Meanwhile, in a small bowl of a food processor, place the garlic, basil, olive oil, and salt. Work it until it turns into a thick paste. Keep a tbsp of the mixture and add the pine nuts and parmesan with the remaining mixture inside the food processor. Process until incorporated.

To assemble the loaf:

Step 1: Transfer the dough once it is ready on a floured working surface. Roll it into a 30 x 50 cm rectangle, then trim the edges straight.

Step 2: Over the dough, spread about 1/3 of the pesto and evenly sprinkle the cheese on top.

Step 3: Slice the loaf into four 50-cm long strips using a pizza slicer. On top of each other, stack the strips and slice into four even rectangles.

Step 4: Pile the dough wedges in a lightly oiled loaf tin. Note to have enough space for the loaf to rise.

Step 5: Using a cling film, lightly cover the tin and allow to rise for at least 30 minutes.

Step 6: In the meantime, prepare the oven. Preheat it to 200 degrees C or 180 degrees C fan.

Step 7: Place the loaf in the preheated oven once ready. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes until rich golden brown and the dough has risen. After 15 minutes, tent with foil.

Step 8: While the loaf is baking, whisk the rest of the pesto with 2 tbsp olive oil and a generous pinch of salt.

Step 9: remove the loaf from the oven and brush with the pesto oil. Allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes in the tin before shifting to a serving board. Coat the loaf with the rest of the pesto oil, pull apart, and enjoy!