kitchenMage's Twirled Pesto Rolls

Ingredient | Volume US | Volume Metric | Weight US | Weight Metric
water| 1 cup | 235 ml | 8 ounces | 450 grams
bread flour| 1 cup | 235 ml | 4 1/2 ounces | 125 grams
whole wheat flour| 1/2 cup | 112 ml | 2 1/4 ounces | 62 grams
instant yeast| 1/4 teaspoon | 1-2 ml | 1/4 ounce | 2 grams
water| 1 3/4 cups | 350 ml | 14 ounces | 392 grams
bread flour| 5 cups | 1175 ml | 22 1/2 ounces | 630 grams
instant yeast| 1 1/4 teaspoons | 8 ml | <3/8 ounce | 10 grams
olive oil| 3 tablespoons | 45 ml | 1 1/2 ounces | 42 grams
salt| scant tablespoon | 15 ml | 1/2 ounce | 15 grams

pesto for filling| 1 cup | 235 ml | 8 1/4 ounces | 232 grams
parmesan cheese (optional)

If you don't have a favorite pesto recipe, Check out our Pesto Link a starting place.

Mixing the starter
In mixing bowl, combine starter ingredients and mix until well combined. Cover and let rest on the counter for about two hours until it is very bubbly. (You can shorten this to ~20 minutes or wait as long as 4 - 5 hours. You can also refrigerate the starter for 24 - 48 hours after it bubbles.)

Mixing the dough
Add water, 4 cups of bread flour and yeast to the starter and mix well. Add the oil and mix until it is integrated. Sprinkle in the additional cup of flour as you go you may not need all of it, you may need a little more. (As we all know, my flour lives in a fog valley and yours does not, so they weigh differently. They would weigh differently in any case, but that is my excuse.)

When the absorption of the flour starts to slow down, turn it out on a well-floured counter, cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt on the dough and knead until firm yet supple. This is basically a baguette dough and it feels like it smooth and neither tacky or dry. When it is done it feels good to knead and I think, "this is what bread dough should feel like!"

Roll the dough in flour and place it in a clean bowl. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled in bulk (about an hour).

When the dough has doubled, turn it out on a lightly floured counter and fl
atten into a rectangle. You are going to roll this out into a 12 x 24 rectangle and it will take a few cycles of rolling and resting to accomplish this. Roll the dough out until it starts resisting and springing back, then let it rest for 5 minutes and repeat.

Place the dough on the counter so that the long side is parallel to the counter edge. Spread pesto on the rectangle of dough, leaving an inch uncovered the long edge that is further away from you. Brush the exposed edge with water. Roll up the dough starting on the side closest to the counter edge and rolling away from you. The water brushed edge will be the last part to be rolled up, pinch the edge to seal. You should now have a 2 foot long cylinder of dough.

Cut the rolls into 1 1/2" - 2" sections (my three fingers are about 1 15/8 inches wide so that's how tall my rolls are) and place in a lightly buttered baking pan. When I last made these, I had 15 rolls, which fit into two glass pie pans.

Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour. Bake in a preheated 400F/205C. Bake bread for 25 minutes or until golden brown (~195F/90C internal temperature). Cool rolls in pans for 15 minutes and then place on rack to finish cooling.

Optional: If you want a bit of melted parmesan on top of the rolls, use a vegetable peeler to shave off little pieces onto the hot baked rolls and return them to the oven for a couple of minutes to melt.

Variation: This recipe can also be made into two loaves of bread. To do so, divide the dough in half before shaping and then roll into two rectangles (~9 x 14) before filling and rolling. Dont cut the loaves into rolls and place the loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet to proof and bake.