Tear and Share Pesto, Mozzarella and Sundried Tomato Bread Recipe
We recently had my daughter’s 21st birthday and we had a big gathering. There were a million things to do to get organised, but me being me, I was still desperate to bake something for the buffet (other than a cake) and whilst I love to bake I am all for simple recipes.
We had about 50 people coming, so I decided to make a few Tear and Share loaves and they were such a success, I just had to share the recipe. This recipe is really easy but the finished bread looked fantastic, tasted delicious and was ideal for feeding a crowd. It would also be fantastic for a picnic or for serving alongside pasta, as part of a hot buffet.
To save time and because I wanted to keep things simple, I used shop bought bread mixes, but you could just as easily make your own dough.
Generously serves 12
500g packet of White Bread Mix
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 jar green pesto (you can also use fresh pesto)
1⁄3 x 250g packet grated mozzarella
30g Parmesan or pecorino cheese, grated
50g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained weight, chopped
1) Make up the dough mix, following the directions on the pack. I reduced the recommened amount of water to be added to the mix by approx 30 ml and added 2 tablespoons of olive oil instead. Mix the water and oil into the knead for about 5 minutes to form a dough, leave to rest for 5 minutes and then knead for another 5-10 minutes until the dough is elastic. I used a food mixer with a bread hook to speed things up but you can mix it by hand.
2) On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a rectangle about 25 x 35cm (10 x 14in).
3) Spoon the pesto onto the dough and spread out in a layer, leaving one of the long edges clear, Scatter over the cheeses and sun-dried tomato pieces. You can use as much or as little of the toppings as you like.
4) Brush water along the clear edge, and then roll up the dough towards the clear edge, pressing well over the join.
5) Take the roll of dough and cut into 12 even sized pieces. Place them on their sides, so you can see the spiral shapes and place them fairly close together on a buttered, lined baking tray, in a rectangle of 4 x 3 rows.
6) Cover the bread with a piece of oiled cling film or a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 30 mins-1 hour or until doubled in size and the rolls have joined together.
7) Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
8) Remove the cling film or tea towel from the dough and you could sprinks some more cheese on the top. When the oven is hot, place the baking tray in the centre and bake the dough for 20-30 mins, or until it’s an even golden colour and firm to the touch.
9) Once baked, leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin and then transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. The rolls are best served warm on the day of making.
10) Once cold, these rolls can be frozen in freezer bags. To use, allow to defrost, then warm through in a hot oven for a few mins, or warm in the microwave and serve.
The beauty of recipe is that you can get totally creative with the fillings that you use for this tear and share loaf. Why not add sliced olives or even peperoni! Another filling that works well, is mixing crumbled feta cheese, parmasan and chopped herbs with a little olive oil and spreading this onto the dough. Alternatively you could just go for a classic garlic butter and mozzarella.