Hey Everyone! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will know how much I love to bake bread! Because what’s better than homemade bread?! Not much. This bread is infused with the most delicious flavors and scents thanks to the pesto and the Parmesan cheese, and smells so incredibly good as it’s baking! It would make a great side to a big pasta dish, soup or salad, but would also be super delicious for a grilled cheese sandwich (with basil, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese?? Yes.) or a Croque Monsieur (like this one)! The possibilities are endless, and this bread is seriously one of my favorites! There’s just nothing like the garlic, herbs and cheese all perfuming this crusty loaf of bread, it’ll instantly make you feel like your kitchen has transformed itself into a little Italian bakery!
NO-KNEAD PESTO BREAD
(Adapted from The NY Times)
*Makes 1 round loaf*
YOU WILL NEED
3 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 5/8 cup water
2 tsp salt
4 – 5 tbs pesto
Optional: 2 – 3 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1. Combine the all-purpose flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add in all the water and the pesto (and Parmesan cheese if you are adding it), and stir with a wooden spoon until a super sticky dough begins to form (if the dough seems way too wet, add in extra flour). Then, cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm spot for 12 – 20 hours.
2. Check on the dough once the 12 hours or however many hours you are letting it sit are up, and you should be seeing lots of bubbles on its surface. Take the (very sticky at this point!) dough out of the bowl and place it on a generously floured surface and gently try to shape it a little bit, and sprinkle more flour over it. Then, place the piece of plastic wrap over it again and let it rest for 15 minutes.
3. Next, form the dough into a ball (you can use more flour if you need to) and place it on a floured cloth kitchen towel (make sure it’s seam down), then sprinkle the bread generously with more flour (the dough will absorb a lot of the flour as it sits) and cover it with another towel, and let it sit and rise for about 2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
4. Preheat your oven to 450 deg F, and place a Dutch oven or covered casserole dish inside it as it heats up (if you use a covered casserole dish, make sure it’s at least a 3 quart dish). Once the oven is ready, remove the dish from the oven, and carefully place your dough ball inside it and cover it with the lid. Bake for about 30 minutes covered, then take the lid off and bake for another 15 – 30 minutes, until golden brown on top! Let the bread rest and cool before slicing.
For more bread recipes, check these out!
Happy Baking, Everyone!