Friday 27 May 2011

Tomato Pesto & Feta Swirl Bread

A few weeks ago I had the urge to bake something breadish. I was initially going to make some plain rolls and then thought that I could spice it up a bit by making some filled scrolls instead. I was thinking in terms of cinnamon scrolls. At the time there had been a spate of cinnamon swirl loaves on foodgawker and tastespotting. So instead of individual scrolls I thought I might make a whole loaf. However, I didn't really want something sweet, I was more interested in making something savoury. Going to the fridge I found half a jar of tomato pesto and half a block of feta cheese. They seemed like a perfect fit, although I think next time perhaps some parmesan as well. 

Late in 2009 I came across the perfect bread roll/dough recipe over at Phemomenon's blog and since then it has been my go to recipe for rolls and scrolls. It is such and easy recipe, although I have tweaked it a bit over the many times that I have used it. So when I decided to make this loaf I saw no reason not to use that same recipe and it certainly did not disappoint. I was rewarded with a fantastic loaf of bread that rose and browned beautifully. The tomato pesto flavour really worked well  and the little bits of feta were perfect throughout. I will definitely be using this recipe again and again and again. 

Perfect Bread Dough

  • 1 c warm water
  • 1/2 c warm milk 
  • 3 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 1/2 c plain flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup, then leveled off
  • 1/2 c extra flour if required
  • Combine water, milk, yeast and sugar in KitchenAid bowl and stand until frothy. This should take 5 - 10 minutes. 
  • Add oil, salt, and 2 cups of the flour  and, using the paddle attachment, beat on a low speed to combine. 
  • Add in a further 1 cup of flour and continue beating until incorporated. 
  • Change to dough attachment and add remaining 1/2 c flour (adding some or all of the extra 1/2 c if the dough is too sticky). Continue to mix the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. 
  • Increase speed slightly, I don't go over 3 on mine for doughs, and let knead for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, oil it with some olive oil and return the dough to the bowl turning it to coat in the oil. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, approximately 20 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press dough out into a rectangle the same width as the pan you plan to bake it in.
  • Spread with tomato pesto (however much you like) making sure to leave a border around the edge and top with crumbled feta cheese. 
  • Carefully roll the dough up and place into your bread tin with the seam at the bottom of the pan. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for approximately 20 minutes. 
  • In the meantime pre-heat oven to 200C. 
  • Brush the top of the loaf with either melted butter, milk or beaten egg (I forgot to do this) and bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden. You may need to turn the pan halfway through baking to get an even colour. 
This was lovely served warm or cold and even toasted up really well under the grill. 


  1. Looks lovely, Katren! I've made cinnamon bread like this, but the savoury one sounds even better!

  2. Saw this recipe on the Taste forum - looks so good, will definitely be giving it a try

  3. I hope that you enjoy it BMH. I have made it a couple of times now.