There’s something to be said for freshly baked bread. The excitement when the dough does actually rise. The smells that fill the house as it bakes. And that beautiful moment when you take the first bite and it tastes like heaven.
Weirdly enough, I don’t usually have much bread at home. I might, on occasion, feel like having avocado and egg on toast, or some bread to dip into soup, but it’s not something that is on my weekly shopping list. I tend to stick a lot of bread in the freezer if I do buy it, because I don’t eat it quickly enough.
In fact, at the time of writing, my fridge has half a loaf of seeded bread, a bag of mini bread rolls, two English muffins and a half-baked baguette. Seriously, I buy them because I want one or two, and then forget about them. And this is why I need to start using what I’ve got to help clear out my fridge and freezer. I’m making a promise now not to buy (or make) any more bread until I’ve used up what I’ve got in the freezer. I really do need to clear out what’s in there.
Anyway, on the topic of using up what I’ve got, I wanted to use up my bread flour to free up some cupboard space. Luckily I came across these Cheese & Pesto whirls, and decided to not just use bread flour, but also the Parmesan that’s sitting in my fridge. Unlike the BBC, however, I was not quite as good at rolling up the dough, so my whirls only really have one turn in them. Oh well. They still look, and taste, great!
I decided to combine the pesto and sun-dried tomato options from the original recipe and just use sun-dried tomato pesto. It meant only buying one additional ingredient, and that I wouldn’t have anything left over that I’d need to use up within the next 4 weeks.
These bread whirls are great on their own, but they’re also great dipped into soup or stew. And the best part? They taste like pizza! The whirls are also pretty decent in size, so you’ll probably only need one, but will want to eat more!
There’s no point in making you read any more blabber, so let’s get straight to the recipe.
450 grams white bread flour
1 sachet fast-action dried yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
280 ml water
150 grams jar of sun-dried pesto
50 grams grated Parmesan
- In a food processor with the dough kneading blade, add the flour, yeast, caster sugar, olive oil and water. If you don’t have a food processor, or free-standing mixer, get your hands in and combine everything in a large bowl. Make sure you oil your hands up first so that the dough doesn’t stick to your hands too much.
- Blend until well combined for 5 minutes or so. If the dough seems a bit dry, add a bit more water (no more than 300 ml total). The dough should feel springy and elastic.
- Drizzle some oil into a large bowl and make sure to coat the whole inside of the bowl. Place the dough into the bowl, and cover with a damp tea towel. Place in a warm area, and leave to rise (double in size) for about 2 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle flour onto a work surface.
- Knock back the risen dough a little bit, to remove any air bubbles. Then turn out onto the floured work surface.
- Roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Spread the pesto all over the dough, and then sprinkle the Parmesan over. Roll the dough up from a long end, to make a long sausage.
- With a sharp knife, slice the dough into equal sized pieces. Place the slices, cut-side-up, on the lined baking sheet. Leave space between the slices, as they will expand during the second prove. Cover with a damp tea towel, and place in a warm place for an hour.
- Heat the oven to 200°C. Place the whirls into the oven on the middle shelf for 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.