Shiny golden domed tops and an aroma of garlic and olive oil are the signature of these wonderful soft pesto stuffed olive oil loaves. The rich dough is wrapped around generous spoonfuls of fragrant pesto which infuses the bread with parmesan saltiness. A soft warm loaf pops out of these pots, moist and aromatic, a definite showstopper.
For this recipe I used 14 New 8cm, 3 inch terracotta pots. It’s easy to season the pots, preheat the oven 200c, 180c fan assisted, gas mark 6, 425f. Oil the inside of each pot and place on an oven tray, I put them in a muffin tin to stop them falling over. Bake in the oven for 25 mins and then allow to cool. Keep these pots for baking and they will get increasingly seasoned each time you use them.
Pesto Flower Pot Bread
- 14 New 8cm, 3 inch terracotta plant pots
- 500g Strong white flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 7g Dried yeast
- 300mls water at room temperature
- 100mls Extra virgin olive oil
- oil and butter for seasoning and greasing the pots
- 200g Pesto
- 1 Egg, beaten
- Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together. Add the dried yeast and mix again.
- Pour the oil into the water. Make a well in the centre of the flour and gently add the liquid.
- Using your hands or a wooden spoon mix the four into the water gradually taking the flour from the sides until its all combined. It might seem a bit dry at this stage.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic..
- Oil the bowl and place the dough into it cover with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm to rise for about 2 hours - until it has doubled in size.
- Meanwhile grease the terracotta pots with butter and set on one side.
- Once the dough has risen, do not knock back but divide into 14 equal portions.
- Flatten each portion out to a roughly round shape and put a teaspoon of pesto onto the centre. Gather up the edges like a little pouch and press together, then place into the prepared pot. Repeat for all 14. If your pots are narrow at the base, you may have to squeeze the dough to fit. The dough will fill ⅔ of the height of the pot.
- Set aside again to rise for 1 and ½ hours.
- Preheat the oven 220c, 200c fan, gas mark 7, 425f
- Once risen brush the top with beaten egg and place on a middle shelf of the oven to bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200c, 180c fan, gas mark 6, 400f, for a further 20 to 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down. The pots will be very hot initially.
- Serve warm or cold
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