This month’s theme for the #lovebloghop was leafy greens! That’s right, March is #greenslove. Be sure to add any of your March 2012 recipes that include leafy greens to the hop!
I must admit, when I first saw that the theme for this month was leafy greens I was stumped.
Desserts don’t usually have leafy greens in them.
That thought got me to bread. Bread would be more likely to have a leafy green in it somewhere.
And then it struck me, pesto! I once made an arugula pesto in high school. This was the perfect time to retest that recipe and use it as a bread filling!
This bread even pleased the previously pesto hating boyfriend.
I recommend it toasted for breakfast with eggs. Or as the bread in a grilled chicken panini.
What would you eat with this pesto swirled bread?
Arugula Pesto Bread
Recipe adapted from Strawberry Pepper
I made a double batch of pesto to have some leftover. You can cut the recipe in half and use all of that to fill your bread, or make the whole thing (leaving out the parmesan cheese) and freeze it for a later date!
- 1 cup warm water (warm enough for you to be able to hold your hand in it with out it hurting)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups of all purpose flour (or a blend! I used 1 cup bread flour + 2 cups AP flour mixed together)
- 4 cups organic baby arugula
- 1 cup walnut chips, or roughly chopped walnut pieces
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
To Make the Bread:
- Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water by letting it stand for 5-10 minutes. It will be frothy and bubbling when ready.
- Add the salt, olive oil, and 2 cups flour to the yeast mixture. Stir everything together until it sticks to itself and starts to form a ball.
- Dump it out onto a well floured (using the remaining 1 cup flour) surface or a lightly floured Roulpat. Knead the dough, incorporating a little bit of the flour at a time as you knead. I didn’t incorporate all of mine, maybe half by the time my bread was ready to rise.
- Once your bread is smooth, no longer tacky or sticky, and passes the windowpane test it is ready to rise. Do this by oiling a large bowl, adding the dough – turn once to cover in oil – covering with a slightly damp paper towel and leaving in a warm place for about an hour. **Use this time to make your pesto!**
- After an hour, check the dough to see if it’s ready. It should be doubled in size and keep an indentation if you stick your finger in it. If it’s not ready, let it sit for 15 -30 more minutes and check again. Once ready, dump the dough back out onto the floured surface and roll out to 1/2 – 1/4 inch thickness.
- Spread 2/3 – 1 cup of pesto over the bread. Do not spread it all the way to the edges! You want a nice even layer, not too thick or else it’s hard to roll the bread. Then carefully roll the bread up like a jelly roll cake. Make an attempt to haphazardly seal the edges and ends, and carefully fit into a greased bread loaf pan. Let the bread rise for an additional hour.
- After about 45 minutes of rising time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the bread is done rising and the oven is preheated, bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
- Remove after 5 minutes in the pan, flip out and cool on a cooling rack. Eat immediately or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. The bread should keep for 3-4 days when tightly wrapped.
To Make the Pesto:
- Lightly toast the walnut pieces or chips in a saucepan over medium heat until they become fragrant. Set aside.
- Gently roast the garlic cloves over medium heat just until they start to golden and smell wonderful. Set aside.
- Layer the arugula, walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper in your blender or food processor. Pour the olive oil over it all and give it a whirl. It only took me a few 5 second pulses to get it smooth and creamy in the Vitamix.
- Dump it all out into a bowl and mix in the parmesan cheese. You could have added it to the blender, but I wanted to keep the cheese pieces a little larger for the bread filling. Keep covered in the fridge until ready to use.
Don’t forget to check out the other #greenslove bloghop co-hosts!