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 goes so well with savoury dishes such as warming casseroles or soup or serve it as a centre piece at a party.
Bake on a day when you plan to be at home. You’ll not spend too long on the actual making, but you’ll need to allow for it to rise, then shape and bake the bread. 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
Tear and Share Bread
- 300 gr strong white flour
- 180 ml water
- 30 ml oil rape seed or extra virgin
- 7 gr fresh yeast or 5 grams of instant yeast
- 6 gr salt
- 50 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
- First start with the bread dough.
- 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.
- Add the oil and water.
- If using the stand mixer, mix on the lowest speed for 3 minutes, then increase to medium speed for a further 3 minutes. The dough should detach itself from the sides of the bowl. It will be smooth and elastic. It should be between 24 and 26°C (75 to 78°C)
- If mixing by hand, rub in the yeast then use a dough scraper to mix all the ingredients together and knead until smooth (about 10 minutes).
- 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, but your dough in the fridge, well covered. You can leave it there 8-12 hours.
- Next make the pesto. You can use a food processor to make this or chop everything as finely as possible.
- Lightly toast your nuts and set aside to cool.
- 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. Set aside.
- Set your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
- 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. You will be rolling up the long edge. You'll use this method for all the different options you can make.
- Spread the pesto all over the dough.
- Roll the dough up tightly into a long sausage. Place in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour. This will ensure both the filling and dough are the same temperature and will be easier to cut.
- With a sharp knife or dough scraper, cut slices that weigh 80 gr. You want them all to be the same weight. Set aside until you have cut the dough into equal pieces.
- To make the tree shape
- Roll out the left over pieces of dough. Cut out a pot and star.
- Layout on silicon paper on a baking tray. Place one bun in the first row, two in the second and so on. Leave a finger width space between each one for the rolls to expand before baking as shown. Ensure you have one roll per person at least!
- To make the tear and share in a tin
- Place five slices of dough cut side up on the bottom of the loaf tin. Place four more buns on the top row avoiding placing them exactly on top. When proved, the rolls will merge into each other.
- Savoury Rolls
- For savoury rolls, place the rolls a finger width apart in a circle, they will merge as they prove and bake.
- For all options
- Brush the dough with beaten egg and leave for 45 minutes before baking. You'll note how they have 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.
- Gently remove the bread from the tray when cooled a little and place on a serving platter. These are best served just warm.