This year Christmas series started off with dessert recipes in our blog. To spice it up a bit, I have added this savory recipe to that list. A beautiful addition to this series and an adorable centerpiece to any holiday table is this braided pesto bread wreath.
For a long time now, I have been waiting to get my hands on this braided bread. At first, I thought of making a chocolate bread wreath or something sweet. But, now that I wanted to post it for Christmas, I thought why not sneak in a savory one amongst all these dessert recipes.
So, why this and what is so different about this braided pesto bread wreath? Okay, one is that I wanted to try it badly and the other is that Christmas is no fun without a wreath, right? I mean it is the center of attraction on the day of Christmas and this braided pesto bread wreath will be the center of attention on the table!
This braided pesto bread wreath is so beautifully braided with layers of pesto sauce and bread coming together. Something so very good about this is that this braided bread has a crispy and golden outer bread layer with soft and fluffy insides. Now, that is something, right?
For this bread, you can replace pesto with anything you like. Chocolate cinnamon would be a fabulous option if you would like for your bread to be sweet. Even while using pesto, you can use red pesto instead of green or even both by braiding one roll with green pesto over the other with red pesto.
Or, if you want a garlic flavor in your bread wreath, then lavishly apply some garlic butter and sprinkle cheese too for that cheesy bite. I made my bread wreath with mint pesto which I had prepared at home. You can even use homemade basil pesto.
Since, I was not able to find basil leaves I made it with mint leaves. I had already posted a mint pesto sandwich a few months back from which you can get the recipe for the mint pesto. You can also use store bought pesto to make your work much simpler.
This braided pesto bread wreath comes together easily. If you have your pesto ready, then most of the time goes in just resting the dough for it to proof. Braiding the bread is kind of tricky though especially if you are doing it for the first time. But, I am sure you will get a hand of it in time. Just be patient and careful while braiding it and lift it to keep in the baking tray.
So, anyways, this braided bread is so worth everything. And, enjoy every bite of this delicious pesto bread hot with your loved ones. Stay safe; stay healthy! Happy cooking and eating! And have a very Happy Christmas!
Has meal planning been a little bit difficult during this lockdown? Look through my No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series for ideas on what to cook during this lockdown.
Braided Pesto Bread Wreath
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup warm water
- ¾ cup pesto
- ¼ cup shredded cheese, optional
- In a mixing bowl, add sugar, salt and instant yeast to the flour and mix well.
- Add olive oil and water and knead to form a smooth and elastic dough.
- Grease a bowl with some oil and place the kneaded dough in the bowl and cover it with a cling wrap. Let it rest for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- After the dough is doubled in size, punch it and knead for a minute.
- Dust the work surface with some flour and roll the dough into a rectangle. Spread all of the pesto leaving around ¼th inch around the edges.
- Sprinkle some grated cheese.
- Roll the rectangle lengthwise into a log and with a sharp knife cut through the middle of the log into two parts. Loosely braid one part over the other into a wreath shape and seal both ends and tuck it below.
- Transfer the braided bread to a greased baking tray and let it rest for 30 minutes for it to rise again.
- Brush some olive oil on the bread and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes or until golden-brown on the top. Serve hot or warm.
- If you are using active dry yeast, then add sugar and yeast to warm water and let it sit for 15 minutes to proof. Then add the flour and the pother ingredients to form a dough.
- While using active dry yeast, if the solution does not turn bubbly when left to proof, then the yeast is dead. Repeat the process from the beginning.
- The dough takes time to double depending on the climatic conditions. Make sure you place the dough in a warm place.
- Adding cheese to the bread is completely optional.
- While rolling the dough, make sure to roll it tightly to make sure nothing spills.
- Be careful while braiding the dough and transfer it with patience into the baking tray for baking.
- Always bake in a pre-heated oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top turns golden-brown.