First off, I have to say that this bread is so good that out of necessity I will be making another loaf tomorrow. This is a pesto-ribboned loaf of awesomeness (if I do say so myself). The bread itself is very soft with a very tender crumb, the crust is golden and not too thick... it made the ultimate grilled cheese and was nothing less than addictive with a bit of butter. Today turned out to be an unseasonably cool and rainy summer day and this bread definitely brought some sunshine into my kitchen, and made the house smell terrific at the same time :)
My Pesto Swirl Bread
Inspired by Allrecipes
1/4 cup warm water
1 package dry active yeast
3/4 cup buttermilk, heated to lukewarm ( I microwave it for approximately 30 seconds)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup basil pesto
In stand mixer bowl, combine the yeast and warm water and let sit for 5 minutes or until it starts to foam/bubble. Add the dough hook attachment and add to the yeast the buttermilk, oil and all dry ingredients (do NOT add the pesto). Mix on lowest speed for 1 minute to combine and then on speed 2 for 5 minutes. If it is too dry, add 1/2 tbsp or so of warm water, or if the dough is sticking to the bowl, add flour, 1/2 tbsp at a time if needed. Remove hook and bowl from mixer. Form the dough into a ball, spray the bowl with non-stick spray or some olive oil, put the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a towel and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in bulk.
When doubled, remove dough and place on floured board and roll into a rectangle approximately 9 x 13 inches. Brush with pesto and roll up like a jellyroll, pinching seam and ends firmly to close (roll the shorter side, the roll should be the right size to fit in your loaf pan). Cut the roll in half lengthwise and braid the two sections over each other, keeping the pesto side up at all times. Place into greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and cover with towel and let rise for another hour and a half.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until done and hollow-sounding when tapped. Let cool on wire rack completely before devouring.