Wild Garlic Pesto Breads

 Everybody knows that late spring, wild garlic smell. It makes my mouth water and this year, settled in my new London home, I couldn’t wait to cook with it! Baking bread is one of my favourite past times. It’s a test of patience and wonderfully satisfying to see something change from humble, cheap ingredients into something universally adored.

If you prefer a neat spiral pattern to your bread, you can roll it up tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes before slicing with a very sharp knife but I like the rustic marbled effect of loosely rolling the dough and hand stretching the rolls.

For the pesto you’ll need: 

200g wild garlic

Handful fresh parsley

About 100ml quality EVO

Maldon salt to taste

100g cashews, toasted 

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Add all ingredients to a blender, reserving the olive oil and blend. 

Slowly add the oil to loosen the mix until combined.

Jar and keep in the fridge for up to a week or use straight away!

For the dough you’ll need:

250ml warm water

200g strong flour 

1 1/2 tsp caster sugar

1/2 tsp Maldon salt

7g quick yeast

1/2 tbsp olive oil

Mix together the water, yeast, sugar and oil gently until combined.

Meanwhile, pour the flour into a large bowl and the salt around the edge.

Make a well in the flour and slowly add the liquid, folding the flour in gradually. You should fold in the salted edges last to form a runny dough.

Cling film and leave to prove for 40 minutes until doubled in size. I put in the oven with just the light on for heat.

On a well floured surface, turn out the dough and knead for 5-6 minutes, adding more flour if too sticky.

Roll into a rectangle, about 1cm thick and spread on a generous layer of pesto.

Starting from one side, roll the rectangle into what looks like a Swiss roll.

Slice into 1″ thick pieces using a very sharp knife and arrange onto a baking tray.

Cover loosely with a clean tea towel and leave for a further 15 minutes. At this point you can preheat the oven to 220 degrees c.

Bake at 220 for 4 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200 and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Cool and serve, soup is a perfect accompaniment! 


6 thoughts on “Wild Garlic Pesto Breads

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