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Spinach, Feta, and Basil Pesto Pull-apart Bread


Description

Spinach, Feta, and Basil Pesto Pull-apart Bread


Ingredients

Scale

Bread Dough

  • 180g whole milk, lukewarm
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 400g all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 60g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 egg, at room temperature

Filling

  • 200g baby spinach leaves, washed, then wilted down, roughly chopped and drained (see notes)
  • 130g feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ cup Filippo Berio Original Basil Pesto
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Egg wash

  • 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
  • Pretzel salt to finish (optional)

Instructions

BREAD DOUGH

  1. Place the lukewarm milk, 1 Tbsp of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the flour, pepper, and salt, and mix briefly to combine. 
  3. Add the milk mixture, butter, and the egg to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes to bring the dough together. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and mix for a further 10-15 minutes, until the dough is soft, smooth, and elastic.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 minutes to an hour. 

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

  1. Place all of the filling ingredients in a medium bowl, and, using a stick blender, blend until smooth and homogenous. Alternatively you can do this in a food processor.
  2. Heavily grease a loaf pan using butter. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 12”X15” rectangle. Spread with a layer of the filling using an offset spatula to get it right to the edges. You may have a little left over. You are going to cut the dough into 9 rectangles, each 4”x5” in size, so, using a ruler and a pizza cutter or sharp knife, measure and cut the 12” side into 3 strips each 4” wide, then measure the 15” side and, making 3 cuts, cut the 3 strips into 9 rectangles, each 4x5”.
  3. Starting with a short edge, fold each rectangle in half, and then line them up into your loaf tin, with the filling edge up and the folded edge down. Pack them loosely - do not worry too much about arranging them perfectly - as you can see from the photos, once it rises it sorts itself out!
  4. Loosely cover the loaf tin with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot to rise, 45 minutes to an hour, until the dough is puffy, and when pressed lightly with a finger, springs back slightly. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375˚f / 190˚c.
  5. Brush the loaf with egg wash, taking care not to drag the filling onto the dough, and sprinkle with pretzel salt if desired.
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown, and the internal temperature registers at 200˚f / 95˚c. Cool in the pan slightly, then remove carefully (you may need to run a knife around the edge), and cool on a wire rack. Best served warm on the same day it is baked.