Pull Apart Cheesy Pesto Loaf
Three words. Pesto. Cheese. Loaf. Kids will love this easy, homemade Pull Apart Loaf recipe. It tastes just as good as it looks and is ideal for sharing. It is the perfect addition to any dinner party.
- For the dough:
- 500 grams strong white flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 7 grams fast action yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 280 millilitres water
- For the pesto:
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 40 grams basil
- 20 millilitres olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 20 grams pine nuts, toasted
- 20 grams parmesan, grated
- To assemble:
- 250 grams grated cheddar/mozzarella mix
- Extra olive oil
- For the dough: Mix together the flour and salt then mix in the yeast, add the olive oil and then enough water to bring it together into a soft dough. Knead the dough by hand until smooth and silky, or in a stand mixer for 10 minutes. Put the dough in a clean bowl, cover it with cling film, and let it rise for 1-1.5 hours or until doubled in size.
- For the pesto: Toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan until they start to change colour and smell fragrant. Let them cool for 5 minutes while you start making the pesto.
- Put the garlic, basil, olive oil and salt into the small bowl of a food processor. Process until you have a thick paste then reserve one tablespoon of the mixture. Add the pine nuts and parmesan to the processor and blitz those through the paste.
- Assembling the loaf: When the dough is ready, knock it back and transfer to a floured work surface. Roll it out into a 30 x 50 centimetre rectangle and trim the edges straight. Spread three-quarters of the pesto over the dough, then sprinkle the cheese evenly on top. Use a pizza slice to cut 4 equal strips that are each 50 centimetres long. Stack these 4 strips on top of each other, then slice each into 4 even rectangles.
- Lightly oil your loaf tin, then stack the wedges of dough next to each other in the middle of the tin - so the slices are standing upright. Turn one end wedge around so there is a plain piece of dough on each end. You will have space remaining at either end of the tin for the loaf to rise. Cover lightly with clingfilm and leave to rise for 30 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 200C / 180C fan.
- Bake the loaf for 35-40 minutes until the dough has risen and is a rich golden brown. Cover with foil after 15 minutes to stop the cheese colouring too much. While it’s baking, mix the remaining pesto with two tablespoons of olive oil and a large pinch of salt. Brush half of this onto the hot loaf as soon as you bring it out of the oven, then let it rest in the tin for 10 minutes. Transfer the loaf to a serving board, brush with the remaining pesto oil, then pull apart and eat.