Pesto Swirl Bread


Whether you eat it as a snack, as a side to your favorite pasta, or use it to make an extra-flavorful sandwich, this bread is a must-bake.

Pesto Swirl Bread
Makes 1 (8×4-inch) loaf
  • 3 to cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package quick-rise instant yeast
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup warm whole buttermilk (120° to 130°)
  • 1 cup Everlasting Green Pesto (recipe follows)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together 2½ cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt; add eggs and buttermilk. Beat on medium-low speed for 3 minutes. Switch to the dough hook attachment. On low speed, add remaining 1 cup flour, a few tablespoons at a time as needed, until a soft dough forms and starts to pull away from bowl, about 6 minutes. (Dough will still be slightly sticky.)
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a ball. Clean and dry bowl. Spray cleaned bowl with cooking spray; add dough, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8×4-inch cast-iron loaf pan with baking spray with flour.
  4. Punch down dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 12-inch square. Spread Everlasting Green Pesto on dough, leaving a 1-inch border on one side. Starting from side opposite border, roll up dough into a log, pinching seam to seal; place seam side down. Cut log in half lengthwise, leaving 1 inch intact at one end of log. Twist halves together, cut sides facing up. Transfer twisted loaf to prepared pan, tucking ends under to fit. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) for 15 minutes.
  5. Bake until top is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°, 50 to 55 minutes, covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Everlasting Green Pesto
  • 3 cups fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • ½ cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  2. Fill a large enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven halfway with water, and to a boil over medium heat. Working in batches if needed, add basil and spinach; cook, stirring occasionally, until vibrant green and wilted, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon, and immediately transfer to ice water. Let stand for a few minutes. Drain well. (Do not squeeze out excess moisture.)
  3. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together drained basil and spinach, peanuts, and all remaining ingredients until smooth. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
KITCHEN TIP: Blanching the basil and spinach before processing keeps the pesto from browning and helps it hold a bright green color for several days when stored in an airtight container. It’s the perfect make-ahead sauce for a quick weeknight pasta supper.