Pesto Swirl Bread with Queso Fresco

Having guests over for dinner reminds me that I really like having people over for dinner.  We hadn’t entertained in a while, and I had forgotten how much I enjoy it.

Only now that I have this lovely little food blog, taking pictures of my dishes in larger company takes a little explaining.  Like yesterday, when I arranged my plate full of food, tweaked the positioning of some items, then picked up the entire place setting and transported it back into the kitchen for better light.

Thankfully Luke explained why I was leaving the table so abruptly, and I didn’t feel too embarrassed.

On a random side note, there was a point in the dinner, closing in on Izzy’s dinner time, that I peered around the corner of the dining room to spy on her, only to find her sitting at the closest end of the pen glaring at me.  I think she was trying to send me rabbit-hypno vibes.  It was kind of creepy but cute at the same time.  Also, we have a family of rabbits living in a bush near the back of our apartment.  Now I get to watch two sets of rabbits!!

While I make bread of course.  I had some leftover pesto from the chili recipe I posted about earlier this week, and wanted to do something different with it.  Different meaning not smother pasta with it.  So I smothered some dough with it.  Then I topped the pesto smothering with a layer of queso fresco.

Totally delicious, though I suppose you can make the queso fresco optional.  Or sub in feta or goat cheese.  Either which way, if you are a pesto lover, you will unequivocally enjoy this bread.

Pesto Swirl Bread with Queso Fresco

Adapted from Mmm is for Mommy

Makes one 9×5” loaf

¼ cup warm water
1 package dry active yeast
¾ cup buttermilk, lukewarm
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
1/3 cup pesto

1 cup crumbled queso fresco, feta, or goat cheese

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and sugar and let sit for 5 minutes or until it starts to foam.  Add in the buttermilk, oil, flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix for about a minute until the dough starts to form.  Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead, adding flour if dough is too wet or water if dough is too dry.  Knead for 3-5 minutes.  Form the dough into a ball, spray a large bowl with non-stick spray or olive oil, put the dough in the bowl, cover it with a towel and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in bulk.

When doubled, remove dough and place on floured board and roll into a rectangle approximately 9 x 13 inches.  Brush with pesto, then sprinkle the cheese over the pesto layer and roll up like a jellyroll, pinching seam and ends firmly to close (roll the shorter side, the roll should be the right size to fit in your loaf pan).   Place into a greased 9 x 5” loaf pan and cover with towel and let rise for another 1 ½ hours.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until done and hollow-sounding when tapped.  Let cool on wire rack completely before slicing.

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2 Comments on “Pesto Swirl Bread with Queso Fresco”

  1. arthurb3 says:

    Hahaha! My friends laugh at me, too, when I first organize everything on my plate then take a picture before eatting.
    http://arthur-in-the-garden.com/

  2. bashfulbao says:

    Oh, the pain we bloggers have to endure!


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