Basil, pine-nut and mozzarella bread

Basil, pine-nut and mozzarella bread


So this week was bread week on the Great British bake off! None of the showstopper bakes really wowed the judges as they have done in previous weeks, and I have to say I agree – Luis’ Spanish influenced loaf looked amazing with the gold leaf on the olives, but not very appetising, and Richard’s pesto pinwheel looked really tasty, but didn’t quite stand out. Pesto seemed to be the ingredient of the week, with even Norman using it!

So in honour of Norman’s exploration into the “exotic” world of pesto, I have made a tear and share spiral bread, also with pesto flavours. This uses the same technique as cinnamon rolls, with the separate pieces of dough baked together into a loaf, so it is easy to pull a roll or two off. This bread is best when eaten warm, as the mozzarella will still be melted and stringy, but it can also be reheated in the oven after a couple of days.


Basil, pine-nut and mozzarella bread

For the dough

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 10g fast action yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 320ml warm water
  • 30ml olive oil

For the filling:

  • 1 tub fresh pesto
  • Handful basil leaves
  • 50g toasted pinenuts
  • 1 ball mozzarella, torn into pieces
  • 150g cheddar, grated

Heat your oven to 180°C

  1. For the dough, put the flour, salt, yeast, oil and water into a large bowl and work together into a dough. Tip onto a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and shiny.
  2. Lightly oil the dough and put back in the bowl, then cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size, roughly 1 ½ hours, depending on how warm it is.
  3. When the dough has risen, tip out of the bowl and knock back with your hands, then roll into a rectangle. Spread the pesto over, then sprinkle with the basil leaves, pine-nuts and mozzarella.
  4. Roll the dough up tightly lengthways, then cut into 12 pieces. Flour a baking tray, and place a loose bottomed cake tin on it (without the bottom bit). Arrange the spirals inside, then leave to rise for 30 minutes while the oven is pre-heating to 180°C.
  5. Once the loaf has risen again, remove the cake tin, sprinkle over the cheddar and, cook for 30 minutes until golden brown and the loaf feels cooked.
  6. Put on a wire rack to cool and then tear and share!


This post is part of the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2014


This post is entered in week 2 of the Great Bloggers Bake Off, run by the lovely Jenny Paulin over at

Link to the second week’s round up post:


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