Twist Bread (with Pesto & Parmesan) - FoodByMaria Recipes

Vegan Appetizers

Twist Bread (with Pesto & Parmesan)

Prep

1 hour

Cook

35 minutes

Yield

1 loaf or 12 twist breads

This gorgeous twist bread not only looks impressive but also is so delicious with the combination of pesto and parmesan. It’s like a little pizza in a loaf of bread. You’re going to love this and want to make it again, and again this fall. Not to mention the smell that’ll erupt in your home while it bakes is seriously unreal. 

Twist Bread on a cutting board

Twist Bread on a cutting board

Why you’ll love this twist bread: 

  • Versatile: Serve this with legit anything or eat it on its own, it’s so good! 
  • Comforting: The combo of pesto and parm is so flavorful and comforting
  • Easy: Baking your own bread doesn’t need to be complicated. This recipe may look hard to create but believe me, it’s not!

Ingredient Notes:

Pesto: I love to make my own pesto because it’s so easy. All you need is some fresh basil and parsley, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. However, if you don’t have time, storebought stuff works great!

Parmesan Cheese: Use the real stuff in the cheese section, not the cheap stuff you find out of the fridge section on the shelf. Real parm will taste the best! If you’re vegan, no worries, just sub for vegan cheese instead.

Twist Bread on a cutting board

How do you make twist bread?

1. In a small bowl, combine vegetable oil and lukewarm water.

2. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Push the flour to the sides of the bowl and create a small well in the center. 

3. Pour the water and oil mixture into the middle of the well. 

4. Fold in by hand or use a wooden spoon until it comes together. As soon as it does, move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky- add a small amount of water if you find it to be on the drier side.

5. Form the dough into a round. 

6. In a new large bowl, use a small amount of vegetable oil to gently cover the sides. Place the dough in the bowl, lightly oiling the top OR dusting with a little extra flour. Cover with a tea towel or cloth, and place the bowl in a warm place to rise for 30-40 minutes, until doubled in size. This may also depend on your environment. 

7. While the dough rises, prepare your loaf pan, homemade pesto (if using store-bought, forget this step), and finely grate the parmesan cheese. Lightly spray your loaf pan with oil, and line it with parchment paper on the largest side, allowing it to be 2 inches higher than the pan height- the width ends will not be covered. Set everything aside. 

8. Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Dust the top with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out to ¼ – ½ inch thick, making approximately a 17×10 inch rectangle.

9. On one half of the dough spread the pesto evenly and cover with the parmesan cheese. Fold the other half of the dough over the pesto.

10. Using a dough cutter, pizza wheel, or knife, cut the dough into 1-inch strips length-wise. You should have 10 – 12 long strips. This will reveal the pesto and cheese filling. 

11. Gently stack the strips on top of each other to make a large stack. With your loaf pan close by, carefully hold the ends of the stack and complete a full 180-degree twist in opposite directions while setting it gently into the loaf pan. As you set it into the loaf pan, you can lightly twist it further while tucking the ends underneath. 

12. Cover the loaf pan with a tea towel or cloth and set in a warm place to rise for another 30 – 40 minutes. Again, this will depend on your environment. When it is ready, the dough should spring back ¾ of the way when you lightly poke it. 

13. Preheat the oven to 375F. 

14. Bake the pesto loaf for 35 minutes, until golden on top. 

15. Gently remove from the pan by holding the parchment paper sides, allow to cool on a rack completely before serving.

16. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. 

17. After cutting the dough into 10 – 12 long strips, twist either end once or twice in opposite directions. This will reveal the layers. Set the twists onto the baking sheets, 1 ½ inch apart. Cover the baking sheets with tea towels or cloths and set in a warm place to rise for 30-40 minutes. Again, this will depend on your environment

18. Preheat the oven to 375F. 

19. Brush pesto twists with a little olive oil.

20. Bake the pesto twists for 20 minutes, until golden brown. 

21. Twists are best served immediately, while warm. 

22. Once cooled, you can freeze all leftovers for up to 1 month between layers of parchment paper. Re-heat the frozen twists in the oven for 10 minutes at 350F.

Twist Bread on a cutting board

Twist bread in a pan ready to bake

Expert Tips & FAQ: 

Do I have to make homemade pesto? Absolutely not. You can make homemade but you can also just buy a jar at the store!

How do I make this twist bread vegan? Swap out the parm for your fav vegan cheese substitute.

What can I serve this bread with? Salad, soup, or eat it on its own. It’s so good!

How do I store this twist bread? Make sure you put it in a tightly sealed bag or container. Since there aren’t preservatives in the bread, it won’t last super long so make sure you eat it up. It’s best fresh, but you could also freeze it.

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Twist Bread (with Pesto & Parmesan)

  • Author: Maria Koutsogiannis
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Proofing: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf or 12 twist breads 1x
  • Category: Vegan Appetizers
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This pesto and parm twist bread is oh-so-delicious. It’s like a pizza in a loaf of bread that you won’t be able to stop eating!


Ingredients

Scale

For the dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp quick rise yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 ½ cups water

For the filling:

2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (regular or vegan)

¾1 cup homemade OR pre-made pesto (regular or vegan)


Instructions

In a small bowl, combine vegetable oil and lukewarm water.

In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Push the flour to the sides of the bowl and create a small well in the center. 

Pour the water and oil mixture into the middle of the well. 

Fold in by hand or use a wooden spoon until it comes together. As soon as it does, move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky- add a small amount of water if you find it to be on the drier side.

Form the dough into a round. 

In a new large bowl, use a small amount of vegetable oil to gently cover the sides. Place the dough in the bowl, lightly oiling the top OR dusting with a little extra flour. Cover with a tea towel or cloth, and place the bowl in a warm place to rise for 30-40 minutes, until doubled in size. This may also depend on your environment. 

While the dough rises, prepare your loaf pan, homemade pesto (if using store-bought, forget this step), and finely grate the parmesan cheese. Lightly spray your loaf pan with oil, and line it with parchment paper on the largest side, allowing it to be 2 inches higher than the pan height- the width ends will not be covered. Set everything aside. 

Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Dust the top with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out to ¼ – ½ inch thick, making approximately a 17×10 inch rectangle.

On one half of the dough spread the pesto evenly and cover with the parmesan cheese. Fold the other half of the dough over the pesto.

Using a dough cutter, pizza wheel, or knife, cut the dough into 1-inch strips length-wise. You should have 10 – 12 long strips. This will reveal the pesto and cheese filling. 

For the loaf:

Gently stack the strips on top of each other to make a large stack. With your loaf pan close by, carefully hold the ends of the stack and complete a full 180-degree twist in opposite directions while setting it gently into the loaf pan. As you set it into the loaf pan, you can lightly twist it further while tucking the ends underneath. 

Cover the loaf pan with a tea towel or cloth and set in a warm place to rise for another 30 – 40 minutes. Again, this will depend on your environment. When it is ready, the dough should spring back ¾ of the way when you lightly poke it. 

Preheat the oven to 375F. 

Bake the pesto loaf for 35 minutes, until golden on top. 

Gently remove from the pan by holding the parchment paper sides, allow to cool on a rack completely before serving.

For the small twists:

Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. 

After cutting the dough into 10 – 12 long strips, twist either end once or twice in opposite directions. This will reveal the layers. Set the twists onto the baking sheets, 1 ½ inch apart. Cover the baking sheets with tea towels or cloths and set in a warm place to rise for 30-40 minutes. Again, this will depend on your environment

Preheat the oven to 375F. 

Brush pesto twists with a little olive oil.

Bake the pesto twists for 20 minutes, until golden brown. 

Twists are best served immediately, while warm. 

Once cooled, you can freeze all leftovers for up to 1 month between layers of parchment paper. Re-heat the frozen twists in the oven for 10 minutes at 350F.


Notes

Pesto bread can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days or sliced and in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Replace the parmesan cheese with vegan cheese.

Use our pesto recipe, your own homemade or store-bought.

Serve pesto twists or bread with soups or dips! Great for an appetizer night, with tomato soup or even marinara sauce!


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 loaf or 12 Twists
  • Calories: 213
  • Sugar: 1.5g
  • Sodium: 425.3mg
  • Fat: 9.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.3g
  • Fiber: 1.3g
  • Protein: 5.9g
  • Cholesterol: 3.2mg

Keywords: garlic, recipe, parmesan, pizza

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