Spinach, Feta, and Basil Pesto Pull-Apart Bread
- Place the lukewarm milk, 1 Tbsp of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the flour, pepper, and salt, and mix briefly to combine.
- Add the milk mixture, butter, and the egg to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes to bring the dough together. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and mix for a further 10-15 minutes, until the dough is soft, smooth, and elastic.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 minutes to an hour.
- Place all of the filling ingredients in a medium bowl, and, using a stick blender, blend until smooth and homogeneous. Alternatively you can do this in a food processor.
- Heavily grease a loaf pan using butter. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 12″X15″ rectangle. Spread with a layer of the filling using an offset spatula to get it right to the edges. You may have a little left over. You are going to cut the dough into 9 rectangles, each 4″x5″ in size, so, using a ruler and a pizza cutter or sharp knife, measure and cut the 12″ side into 3 strips each 4″ wide, then measure the 15″ side and, making 3 cuts, cut the 3 strips into 9 rectangles, each 4×5″.
- Starting with a short edge, fold each rectangle in half, and then line them up into your loaf tin, with the filling edge up and the folded edge down. Pack them loosely – do not worry too much about arranging them perfectly – as you can see from the photos, once it rises it sorts itself out!
- Loosely cover the loaf tin with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot to rise, 45 minutes to an hour, until the dough is puffy, and when pressed lightly with a finger, springs back slightly. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375˚f / 190˚c.
- Brush the loaf with egg wash, taking care not to drag the filling onto the dough, and sprinkle with pretzel salt if desired.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown, and the internal temperature registers at 200˚f / 95˚c. Cool in the pan slightly, then remove carefully (you may need to run a knife around the edge), and cool on a wire rack.
- Best served warm on the same day it is baked.
Filling and Assembly:
Credit: Erin Clarkson of Cloudy Kitchen
Cooking Method: Bake
World Cuisine: Mediterranean
Product: Classic Pesto