This post is less about a recipe, and more about an idea. If you love pesto, you’ve probably had many ideas about how to use it – beyond adding it to pasta, soup, or dip. The other day I saw a recipe for cinnamon rolls, but I typically don’t make sweet baked goods unless it’s a holiday. But that made me think – rolls filled with pesto. So that’s exactly what I did.
Creative? Nah, but a good way to use pesto. Delicious, and were perfect served with tomato soup.
I’m not going to do a tutorial on bread, because I’ve done one quite detailed on making Chili Pecan Buns and Bread for Cheese. There are many different, and especially technical ways to bake bread, but this is how I’ve done it for years. It works. No recipe required.
In this pinwheel recipe, I used sour cream, but you can use milk or cream or even a nut milk.
For the pinwheels, I’m using my home-made pesto that I make every summer and freeze. It does not contain cheese, just the basil, nuts/seeds, garlic, and olive oil. Of course, any prepared pesto would work instead of what I did here. Approximately 16 ounces of prepared pesto with Parmesan would be required for these pinwheels.
1/4 cup warm/hot water
2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups white flour, divided
1 cup whole wheat flour
12 pesto without cheese
6 ounces grated Parmesan
Heat the water in a large bowl until you can hold your finger in it. Add the yeast and sprinkle it with the sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Give the mixture a stir, then place the bowl in a warm place for another five minutes. The mixture will have doubled in volume and gotten foamy.
Meanwhile, place the sour cream in a small bowl and add the water. Gently whisk the mixture together. Then microwave it slowly just until it’s warm. A basic rule of thumb is to never add cold or hot ingredients to a yeast mixture because that can stop the yeast from behaving properly. When the yeast mixture has doubled, add the sour cream mixture, the olive oil, and salt.
Then whisk in 1 cup of white flour. It will be like thick pancake batter. Make sure it’s smooth.
Place the bowl in a warm place, and cover it with a damp towel. I use a warming oven that actually has a “proof” setting. After about one hour it will look like this:
Add one cup of whole wheat flour, and using a spoon, mix as well as possible. The mixture will be thicker than before. Place the bowl in the same warm place for at least one more hour.
It will look like this after the second rising.
Using the a cup of flour, turn out the dough onto your work space, and knead away until the dough is nice and smooth. Form the dough into a ball and let it sit for at least five minutes. This will insure that you can roll it out.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. And also grease jelly-roll pan.
Using a rolling pin, first flatten the ball of dough, then gently work it into a rectangle just like you would if you were making cinnamon rolls. Mine was approximately 18″ by 12″. Slather the dough with pesto. Then sprinkle on the finely grated Parmesan. (Alternatively, if using prepared pesto, no extra cheese is required.)
Roll up the dough lengthwise.
Remove the ends, about an inch on each side, because they never look good. Then make approximately 1 1/2″ crosswise slices and place them cut side down on the cookie sheet.
Let them rise for at least 30 minutes before placing them in the oven and baking for about 20 minutes.
They should be golden brown and smell really good!
Of course this isn’t a unique recipe, but it is good, especially if you’re a huge fan of pesto!