Savory and Soft Twister Bread made with green pesto sauce is a bread with a twist – literally. This gorgeous savory bread swirled with green pesto sauce, may look tricky to make but it is not. The best part is opening the oven to find this star-shaped beauty in all its glory.
Here, in this recipe, the green pesto is made from fresh coriander leaves, avocado and lightly roasted walnuts. You may also use the traditional pesto made from fresh basil and lightly roasted pine nuts also. As far as my research has been, there is no accurate measurements of the ingredients for making a pesto. As long as the ingredients are best and fresh, the pesto will always taste superb. The texture of the pesto should be semi-wet but firm.
The green pesto is sandwiched beautifully between the dough sheets and forms a perfect round pesto layered bread. The layered bread is then divided into 16 equal parts radially and each part is twisted and then joined, resulting in a lovely swirled appearance.
This versatile recipe allows you to make a savory and soft twister bread with green pesto sauce for breakfast, or dinner or to accompany hot soup at lunchtime.
I was excited to try this recipe because of the braiding technique, but it is more similar to twist. Its my first attempt at braiding , and though clearly its not perfect, yet I think, it still looks gorgeous. The best part is, it is much more simpler and easier than it looked. This is a savory recipe but you can make it sweet and fluffy by using nutella instead of pesto.
Let me show you how this delicious loaf comes together.
- For the bread :
- 2¼ cup enriched flour(bread flour)
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tablespoon melted unsalted butter ( i used 100% refined coconut oil)
- ¾ cup lukewarm milk ( full cream or skim ; I used skim milk)
- 2 large eggs ( yolks and egg whites separated)
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- For the Pesto Sauce :
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- half a knob of ginger, smashed, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4-8 fresh green chillies( adjust as per your spice bud)
- 3 good handfuls of fresh coriander leaves
- 1 ripe avocado (peeled and desseded)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- ¼ cup of lightly roasted walnuts
- ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil ( adjust as required)
- Combine enriched flour, salt, sugar and active dry yeast in a medium size mixing bowl. Use fork and mix all the dry ingredients together.
- Now, into the dry mixture, add butter and the egg yolks. Then pour the milk into the centre and gradually bind all the ingredients to make a moist dough. The dough will appear to be grainy and gritty.
- Now, using your hands knead the mixture. This is the best bit, just rolling, pushing and folding the dough over and over for 5 to 10 minutes, until it forms a soft, smooth but firm dough. This procedure activates the gluten and develops the structure of the dough.Using both your hands, make the dough into a roundish shape. When you squeeze the round and push your finger into it, it springs back beautifully. This is a small test to check if your dough is of right consistency.
- Grease a container with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil, pop the dough into it and roll it around in the oil. Make light gashes into the dough with a knife - this allows it to relax and prove more quickly. Cover the container with a clingfilm to speed up the proving process. Leave the container in a warm place. Since it is enriched flour, it will take a little more time to prove. Basically, we want the dough to double in size. This proving process helps to develop the flavor of the flour and should take approximately 40 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the conditions.
- While the bread is proving, this is probably the best time to prepare your green pesto. Put all the ingredients except the olive oil, walnuts and the parmesan cheese, into a food processor and blitz into a paste. Add the cooled, golden roasted walnuts to the mixture and pulse. Turn out into a bowl and add the parmesan cheese. Adjust salt and olive oil as per taste. There are no real rules for determining the exact measure of ingredients for making a pesto, since as long as the ingredients used are fresh and best, the pesto will always taste superb. Gently stir this mixture and add olive oil if required to bind the sauce and get it to the right consistency- semi-wet but firm.
- Now returning to the bread, once the bread is double its size, it will have an elastic texture to it. Pop the dough onto a warm surface, knead and punch the dough, knocking all the air out of it, for about a minute. Roll up the dough tightly into a log and divide it into 4 equal parts.
- Take one part and roll it into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Spread it into an approximately 10 inch diameter circle by using a rolling pin. Now gently slide the dough sheet onto a parchment paper. Take an inverted dinner plate, put it on the dough sheet, push it down, just to make an impression of the outer edges. Smear the pesto generously over the sheet of dough, not letting it to spread across the marked outer edges.Repeat the process for the remaining 3 parts of the dough. Place the second round of dough on top of the previous first round, pressing it down slightly, pushing out any air bubbles. In this way the pesto is sandwiched between the two layers. Then smear the top of the second layer with pesto. Continue this process until the final top layer. Do not put pesto on the top layer.
- After the dough sheets have been layered with pesto in between, pop the dinner plate inverted on the top layer. Hold it firmly and remove the excess dough, using a sharp knife.In this way, you will get a pefectly round pesto layered bread.
- Set a small drinking glass in the center of the layered pesto bread round and start by cutting the dough in 4, starting at the edge of the glass and going outward. Then slice each quarter into 2. And then cut each eighth into 2. You should end up with about 16 strips.
- Twist each strip gently, starting at the center and then working your way outward, giving the twist support the entire time, to avoid breakage. I gave each strip about 2 turns. Repeat with the remaining strips, twisting the adjacent strips in opposite directions. If the ends are jagged, feel free to take a sharp paring knife and trim the ends. Now join the adjacent strips twisted in opposite directions, resembling a petal of a flower. Remove the glass and cover the twister bread with moist tea cloth for 20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush the entire twister bread with egg whites and bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until evenly golden brown.
- Take out the bread and allow it to cool for 30 minutes before eating.