Pistachio Pesto Sourdough Bread

Since I discovered the wonderfulness of pistachio pesto, I just can’t get enough of it, and the extra energetic basil plants in my garden only foster that addiction. I’ve been thinking of ways to use it other than in pastas or spreads. The idea for this bread came from my Chocolate Marbled Bread, where a combination of filling and dough rolled and mingled together create a beautiful pattern. And if you ever wandered what Italian paradise smells like – this is it.

I named it ‘sourdough’ even though ‘naturally leavened’ might be a better description. The dough gets leavened long enough to get a nice rise and get enriched with all the wonderful nutrients that only natural fermentation creates, while becoming more easily digestible. It doesn’t get to the point of sourness, which is why I also leaven all my sweet doughs with wild yeast. I leave the pesto a little chunky, because I like its texture but you can make it smooth. Extra cheese is optional, it makes the bread more pull-apart-ish. If you use pesto only, it’s more smooth and easier to slice. I think it gets better the next day (which is rarely the case with bread!), and is very good toasted.

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HOW TO MAKE PISTACHIO PESTO SOURDOUGH BREAD

Ingredients
DOUGH:
1 1/4 cup (270g) water

3 tablespoons (80g) active sourdough starter
3 cups (450g) all-purpose spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
2 tablespoons (30g) sugar

PESTO:
1 cup packed fresh basil
1 cup pistachios
1/3 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper

OPTIONAL:
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions
MAKE DOUGH:
Whisk together water and starter until combined, milky and frothy.

pistachio-pesto-sourdough-bread
Sift together flour, salt and sugar. Add flour to starter water; knead by hand, or with a dough mixer, until a cohesive dough forms. Add more flour or water, as needed (it’s always needed πŸ™‚ ).

pistachio-pesto-sourdough-bread
Transfer to a glass bowl, sprinkled with flour, knead the dough a few times to get a tight smooth ball. Cover tightly and let rise at room temperature for 8-10 hours, until doubles in size.

pistachio-pesto-sourdough-bread
When your dough is done fermenting, MAKE PESTO – combine all ingredients in a mini food processor, and process until smooth, with small chunks of pistachios left.

pistachio-pesto-sourdough-bread
Transfer the dough to a well floured work surface, knead it into a tight ball sprinkling flour as you knead.
Roll the dough out to a 10 x 20 inch (25 x 50cm) rectangle.

pistachio-pesto-sourdough-bread
Spread pesto on the entire surface with a soft spatula. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese, if desired.

pistachio-pesto-sourdough-bread
Roll the dough from the short side, pinching the ends.
Completely slice through dough longitudinally with a sharp knife.

pistachio-pesto-sourdough-bread
Braid gently, and place into a deep bread pan (I use this deep Pullman loaf pan from Sur La Table). I use a large spatula to support the dough as I transfer it.

pistachio-pesto-sourdough-bread
Allow the dough to rise for another hour or two. Bake in an oven pre-heatedΒ  350ΒΊF (180ΒΊC) for 40-45 minutes. If you have a food thermometer, it should register at 190ΒΊF (90ΒΊC). It will rise above the top of the pan.

pistachio-pesto-soudough-bread

Pistachio Pesto Sourdough Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 1 bread
Ingredients
  • DOUGH:
  • 1¼ cup (270g) water
  • 3 tablespoons (80g) active sourdough starter
  • 3 cups (450g) all-purpose spelt flour
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) sugar
  • PESTO:
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • 1 cup pistachios ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup olive oil ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • OPTIONAL:
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. MAKE DOUGH:
  2. Whisk together water and starter until combined, milky and frothy.
  3. Sift together flour, salt and sugar. Add flour to starter water; knead by hand, or with a dough mixer, until a cohesive dough forms. Add more flour or water, as needed (it's always needed!).
  4. Transfer to a glass bowl, sprinkled with flour, knead the dough a few times to get a tight smooth ball. Cover tightly and let rise at room temperature for 8-10 hours, until doubles in size.
  5. When your dough is done fermenting, MAKE PESTO - combine all ingredients in a mini food processor, and process until smooth, with small chunks of pistachios left.
  6. Transfer the dough to a well floured work surface, knead it into a tight ball sprinkling flour as you knead.
  7. Roll the dough out to a 10 x 20 inch (25 x 50cm) rectangle.
  8. Spread pesto on the entire surface with a soft spatula. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese, if desired.
  9. Roll the dough from the short side, pinching the ends. Completely slice through dough longitudinally with a sharp knife.
  10. Braid gently, and place into a deep bread pan (I use this deep Pullman loaf pan from Sur La Table). I use a large spatula to support the dough as I transfer it.
  11. Allow the dough to rise for another hour or two. Bake in an oven pre-heated 350ΒΊF (180ΒΊC) for 40-45 minutes. If you have a food thermometer, it should register at 190ΒΊF (90ΒΊC). It will rise above the top of the pan.
Notes
Prep time doesn't include 9-11 hours of fermentation πŸ™‚

pistachio-pesto-sourdough-bread-braided
BRAIDED PISTACHIO PESTO SOURDOUGH BREAD

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One Comment

  1. Wow, this bread looks amazing. I have to make my sourdough again, I had some for a while but it went bad after not using it for 3 weeks. My fault. I pinned this and will try it soon.