Pesto Rolls

These rolls are Delicious. With a capital ‘D.’ They are soft, fragrant, and so savory! I’m such a bread lover anyway, and dinner rolls are very high on my list, but these…these…are over the top!

These are quite simple, considering they’re yeast rolls, and take very little time when you don’t consider the rise times. I start mine around 2 pm and have fresh, warm rolls in time for dinner! They’re excellent with Italian meals, especially spaghetti, but they’re also delicious with a fresh salad and some iced tea.

Get started with the pesto, which we’ll make fresh. You just need fresh basil leaves, minced garlic, salt, finely grated parmesan, and olive oil.

Make sure that you buy your basil fresh on the day you make these, or the day or two before at the earliest, as basil goes bad quickly. Also, be sure to refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.

Pull your basil leaves from their stems, if necessary, and rinse them lightly with cold water. Spread the leaves on a double layer of paper towels, cover with another double layer of paper towels, and press lightly to dry them off a bit.

Combine the basil leaves, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, and salt in a food processor and process until well combined and paste-like.

For the rolls you need the fresh pesto, salt, yeast, bread flour, warm water, and a little oil for your bowl.

Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer with the dough hook attached; stir on low to mix. Pour in the warm water and continue mixing on low until the dough begins to come together. Add the pesto and mix well, until the ingredients are all incorporated. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about an hour.

Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a clean surface and divide into eight equal pieces.

Roll each piece into a tight ball and place them on a baking sheet with about three inches in between each of them. Cover with a clean, dry towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Once doubled, bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they reach 200 degrees inside.

Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Whether you have these alone or with a meal, plain or slathered with butter, you’re going to want seconds! Don’t be surprised when these disappear very quickly! Enjoy!

Pesto Rolls
Makes 8

Ingredients

FOR THE PESTO
2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced

FOR THE BREAD DOUGH
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup warm water

To make the pesto: Combine the basil leaves, olive oil, parmesan, garlic, and salt in a food processor and process until well combined and paste-like.

To make the rolls: Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer with the dough hook attached; stir on low to mix. Pour in the warm water and continue mixing on low until the dough begins to come together. Add the pesto and mix well, until the ingredients are all incorporated. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled, about an hour.

Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a clean surface and divide into eight equal pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball and place them on a baking sheet with about three inches in between each of them. Cover with a clean, dry towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once the rolls are doubled in size, cut a small line in the top, if desired, and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they are 200 degrees inside. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking

 

Leave a comment

Comments

  1. bttrflybabydoll says

    You know I'm a bread freak! Yum! I'll be trying those this week! I just made some yummy rolls the other night that I used the dough cycle on my bread machine for. I bet I could do these in the bread machine as well since I still haven't ordered my dough hook for the mixer yet. I'm going to give it a try.

    Thanks!

  2. Shannon says

    So let’s say I was being just a tad lazy and I had some storebought pesto….how much would you suggest using? Thanks!

  3. says

    I made these as hamburger buns this weekend and used pesto from a jar. I added a 1/4 cup of it to the dough but next time I would put in even more! :)