Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pesto Braided Bread

Spicy pesto bread - soft bread with delicious flavors. It’s vegan too. 

I am not an avid baker to say the least - most times I get a bit intimidated by the recipe. There are a lot of things left to fate when you are baking bread :) When I saw this recipe on Pinterest I was super excited with the simplicity of it. But…. I messed up. The yeast in the recipe was ‘active dry yeast’ and it is supposed to be activated in warm water with a tsp of sugar. Well, I do not know what I did …but the dough was flat. One hour…nothing happens, two…nothing,  it took me a little more than two hours to realize it’s not going anywhere.  I did mention I was a bread dummy. My Fb friends passed a verdict that I had killed the yeast, as the water was too hot. Yikes! Teen recommended that I chuck the ‘active dry yeast’ and use ‘platinum yeast’ (it does not need activation) instead and she was not willing to give me any guarantee. All she said was it has worked for me every time. She bakes a lot more than I do. So I took her word for it. I starred over, It did work life a breeze, thanks to teen.

As far as pesto was concerned, I was going with mint and garlic. I wanted Indian masala flavors and the pesto in the bread did not disappoint me. Rachel has used a basil pesto in the original recipe. So if you guys prefer that - here is the link to the recipe. I have used the recipe from her blog with a different pesto sauce. 

Between the bread dough disaster and my AC getting serviced, I had to go drop teen. So with everything going on, am surprised, I managed to take a few pictures. Minimum styling, I was really looking forward to a nicely styled shot. It gives me reason enough to bake another bread and style it with what I had in mind. 


1cup water ( Rachel used 1 and 1/4 ) but one cup worked fine for me
2 1/4 tsp Red Star- Platinum yeast ( 1 sachet)
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp fine sea salt

oil to line the baking tray 

In a big bowl mix 1/2 cup all purpose flour and 1 cup whole white wheat flour, add the salt and sugar. 

Heat the water in the microwave for 30 sec and add it to the flour mixture.The water should be comfortable to touch. 

Mix it and add the remaining 1 cup of all purpose flour and kneed it into a dough. Keep covered in a warm place for one hour. 


1 1/2 cup mint leaves
3-4 garlic cloves
3-4 whole red chillies or 2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp walnuts
1/4 cup extra firm tofu
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (not roasted)
sea salt to tastes 
1 tbsp olive oil 

Grind all the above into a fine paste. 

Assembling the bread & baking

Roll out dough into 10X20inch rectangle.

Spread the pesto sauce evenly. Do not spread it on edges.

Roll the bread and pinch the edges. 

Take a sharp knife and slice completely through the dough edge to edge. and you have two pieces of bread dough, with the pesto showing. As you can see in the photo below. 

Braid the dough.

Oil a 10 inch loaf pan and place braided bread in it and let it rise for another 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven 350F. Bake the bread for 40 minutes - or till the bread crust is brown. 

Serve hot. 

See photo below for step by step pictures. 

#Bread #Breakfast #Brunch #PestoBread #PestoBraidedBread #VeganBread #Baking #FoodPhotography #Photography #SimiJoisPhotography

#Bread #Breakfast #Brunch #PestoBread #PestoBraidedBread #VeganBread #Baking #FoodPhotography #Photography #SimiJoisPhotography

#Bread #Breakfast #Brunch #PestoBread #PestoBraidedBread #VeganBread #Baking #FoodPhotography #Photography #SimiJoisPhotography

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  1. A fabulous summer treat! So many great flavours going on in there.

    I love the last picture.



  2. Simi, your photography and bread are beautiful! I love how you've captured the essence of this bread in your photos. And you should definitely not be intimidated by baking as you seem to have a natural talent for it. Your bread turned out gorgeous; I love all the airy holes. I also love that you added a kick with the chili pepper - delish!

    1. Beeta,

      Thanks ! I thinks it's more of a mental block - initially when I started baking, I had quite a few disasters lol!! This one thankfully turned out gorgeous.

  3. Ok that's for me. I am going to be busy baking. My love. And it is so darn beautiful.

  4. this looks delicious...and sounds like one I MIGHT be able to pull off....thanks.

  5. Your hous must be smelling divine when you made it! This bread is spongy and so perfect!! You have captured it so perfectly.

    1. Thanks Dolphia - you should try it, something tells me you guys will love it.

  6. Well raised with a nice porous texture. And of course , fabulous photography.

  7. Gorgeous Bread Simi!!! Loved the Flavors :)

  8. A very beautifully braided loaf, Simi. And as always, stunning photography.

  9. Bread looks very pretty! Love the braids! Well done!

  10. Even with minimal styling, the pictures look amazing as always Simi. I'm sure your house smelled heavenly. While I'm not too much of a baker myself, baking breads is always satisfying for me. Probably because I can see the yeast activating, the dough rising, almost as if it was alive.

  11. The photos are fabulous! Love your work; the dark, rich colours - everything looks delicious, even to a picky eater like myself :)

  12. beautiful bread..lovely swirls..soft n flavorful too dear :)

  13. At what point is the yeast added?

    1. YIkes ! forgot, will fix it. It’s mixed with the dry ingredients. Thanks for point in git out.


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