This is a fun recipe to make and you can get the kids involved. My recipe is easy to make and easy to adapt and of course, you can use the recipe at any time of the year. The bread is a perfect accompaniment to a picnic in summer or a casserole in winter.
This is such an easy dough to make. You’ll not spend too long on the actual making and then you can pop it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. This is one of the breads that students make in my bread making class and it always proves very popular.
You can, of course use shop bought pesto for speed.
- Fresh or dried yeast. Fresh yeast is available from most supermarket bakery counters but you will have to ask.
- Fresh herbs. Use what you might have in the garden, or buy fresh. Whilst a traditional pesto uses basil, any of the “soft” herbs will do. I’d not use rosemary for example as it rather robust.
- Oil – use extra virgin olive oil, or local rapeseed oil
- Parmesan cheese – go for a piece rather than ready grated
Whilst you can make this by hand, if you have a stand mixer (eg Kenwood) or a food processor, it will be a lot easier. If you have a dough hook for your stand mixer use that in preference to your cake making tool. If you are using a food processor, use the chopping tool
- Rolling pin
- Large flat tray
- Pastry brush
- Star cutter (optional)
- Cooking thermometer (optional)
- Dough scraper (optional)
Savoury Tear and Share Bread
Savoury Pesto Share and Tear Bread
- Stand mixer or large bowl
- digital thermometer
- Baking parchment
- Baking Tray
- Pastry Brush
- Dough scraper
- Digital scales
- 2lb loaf tin
- 500 gr strong white bread flour
- 275 ml water at room temperature
- 35 gr olive oil
- 7 gr dried yeast or 10 grams fresh yeast
- 6 gr salt
- 100 gr herbs chopped your choice from: basil, chives, thyme, lemon balm, coriander or marjoram
- 50 gr nuts toasted eg pine nuts, hazelnut, almonds or pistachios
- 50 gr grated parmesan cheese
- 100 gr olive oil (approx)
- 1 clove garlic
Toppings (all optional)
- Goats Cheese eg mild French in a log
- Chilli sauce
- Confit garlic
- Pine Nuts
- Sun dried Tomatoes
- 1 egg for egg wash
- If you have a thermometer, check the temperature of the water. This water should be around 20°C (68°F). This will feel cooler than you would imagine.
- Weigh the flour out into the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl if you are making it by hand. Add the salt and yeast keeping them well apart from each other.
- Rub in the butter. Then add the water
- If using the stand mixer, mix on the lowest speed for 5 minutes, then increase to medium speed for a further 5 minutes. The dough should detach itself from the sides of the bowl. Timing will depend on your mixer. It will be smooth and elastic. It should be between 24 and 26°C (75 to 78°C)
- If mixing by hand, use a dough scraper to mix all the ingredients together and knead until smooth (about 10 to 15 minutes). The dough should be at least 23C, smooth and elastic.
- Cover the bowl and set aside for one hour. Room temperature is fine. After an hour, if you are not ready to complete the bread, put your dough in the fridge, well covered. You can leave it there 8-12 hours.
- Lightly toast your nuts and set aside to cool.
- You can use a food processor to make this or chop everything as finely as possible. This can also be made well in advance. This freezes very well.
- Roughly chop the nuts, herbs and garlic, grate the parmesan and add to the processor bowl. Add approximately half of the oil and pulse until smooth. It will be very thick. Add more oil until it becomes a spreading consistency. Put in the fridge until needed.
- You can now decide which method you are going to use to present your tear and share. For the slices or tin loaf, you will spread your dough over the rectangle. For the twisted share and tear you will roll out the dough, cut circles and add the pesto later.
- After an hour, your dough will have risen and when prodded will be soft and any marks will disappear. If you've put it in the fridge, you can roll it out cold.
- Roll the dough out to about 3 mm 1/4 inch thick into a long rectangle.
For the savoury rolls baked on a tray or in a tin
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle, the more regular shape the better to about 3 mm thickness.
- Spread the pesto evenly over the dough up to the edges.
- If you are using a filling, dot items evenly and in lines. Do not be tempted to add a lot of filling, it will leak out.
- Roll the dough up tightly into a long sausage.
- With a sharp knife or dough scraper, cut into 80 gr slices. You want them all to be the same weight.
If you are using a tin
- For the tin: Place four or five slices of dough cut side up on the bottom of the loaf tin. Place three or four more buns on the top row avoiding placing them exactly on top. When proved, the rolls will merge into each other.
If you are making slices
- For savoury rolls, place the rolls a finger width apart in a circle, they will merge as they prove and bake. You can make a shape such as a heart should you wish.
Twisted Share and Tear
- Once you have rolled out the dough, use a side plate to cut out 3 equal circles. You can roll out any excess dough and use them for the tear and share slices. This version works best with pesto only, no other fillings.
- Place one circle onto baking parchment on a tray. Spread with pesto. Place the second circle on top and spread with pesto. Top with the third circle.
- Mark the dough lightly where you will cut it. Remember you need to keep the middle attached. You could place an egg cup in the middle to stop you cutting into the middle. Now make 4 cuts from North to the middle South to the middle and East to West to the middle. Then cut another slice exactly between each cut. You will have eight sections joined in the middle.
- Twist each clockwise twice in turn.
For all options
- Set your oven to 180°C/375°F/Gas 5.
- Brush the dough with beaten egg and leave for 45 minutes lightly covered to 1 hour before baking. You'll note how it has expanded.
- Brush the dough a second time with the beaten egg before placing in the oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden. Check after 15 minutes. If it is browning quickly, place a piece of baking parchment on top. The tin will need a minimum of 30 minutes. It browns quickly so cover with parchment after 15 minutes.
- Gently remove the bread from the tray or tin when cooled a little and place on a serving platter. Best served just warm.