This tear-and-share pesto bread is perfect for Christmas when you're expecting guests. The Brie is perfectly melted and studded with dried fruit for a little added sweetness. Your guests will appreciate the extra effort you've gone to to make this recipe and making your own bread is incredibly rewarding. The pesto in the bread puts a nice twist on things and adds a lot of extra flavour that goes really well with the melted cheese.
HOW TO MAKE TEAR-AND-SHARE PESTO BREAD WITH MELTED BRIE
- 150ml milk
- 420g strong white flour
- 7g fast-action dried yeast
- 1tsp sugar
- 1tsp sea salt
- 1 large garlic clove
- 25g each parsley and basil
- 100g pine nuts
- 80ml olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1kg Petit Brie, Brie de Nangis or 1kg Le Rustique Camembert in a box
- Around 5 each prunes and dried apricots
You will need:
- A 20cm round cake tin, the outside oiled
First make the dough. Gently heat the milk with 150ml water. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Now add the liquid and mix. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, all the better to knead it; or do it on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until soft and springy. Put into an oiled bowl covered with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place to double in size.
Meanwhile, make the pesto. Whizz up the garlic, herbs, pine nuts (reserving a handful), oil and lemon juice then put into a small bowl.
Once the bread has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and knock it back with your hands. Now roll it intoa rectangle about 60cm long. Spoon the pesto down the centre, spread it over the dough and carefully roll it up.
Put the oiled cake tin on a large oiled baking tray – we used our oven trays, which are the biggest. Cut the bread into 2.5cm pieces and put cut side up around the tin. They don’t need to touch as the bread will rise and expand. Scatter over the remaining pine nuts, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to prove until doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 180C fan, gas 6. Scatter some sea salt over the bread and bake for a total of 45-50 minutes or until browned and risen. Meanwhile, stud the dried fruit into the Brie. Remove the cake tin from the bread after 25 minutes and replace with the Brie. Serve warm.
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