Snow in Philly before Halloween? The dismal weather had this summer loving gal holed up in the kitchen over the weekend and it did get me thinking about the upcoming holidays (ack, where did October go?)
I go through bread baking jags (wouldn’t you know, my last post was about bread.) I don’t own a bread machine and am not overly fond of kneading. My secret weapon? My trusty KitchenAid Mixer Stand. That dough hook takes care of the kneading and as long as I start the process early enough in the day for the double rising, making homemade bread isn’t too complicated in my book.
I tweaked one of my favorite basic Italian bread recipes that uses milk instead of water which results a richer tasting bread. Semolina flour gives a softer texture but I also swapped in some whole wheat flour for the extra nutrients.
I whipped up a pesto from arugula lurking in the fridge and my stash of pistachios. The vibrant green pairs well with the holiday spirit – this bread could be served with a meal or as an appetizer, sliced fresh out of the oven with an extra smear of pesto on each piece. *Swoon.* (The recipe makes extra pesto which is equally as good as a pasta sauce or a sandwich spread.)
2 cups semolina flour (or substitute with all-purpose white flour)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups arugula
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
For the dough, add Red Star dry yeast, water and sugar to large mixing bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.
Add milk, semolina flour, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, olive oil and salt. Mix well, adding remaining whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup at a time until dough is formed. Either knead dough by hand or dough hook for 5-7 minutes.
Roll into a ball, place in oiled bowl and cover. Keep in warm spot and let rise for 1 hour.
While dough is rising, make pesto by placing arugula, pistachios, olive oil and garlic in food processor. Process until well mixed. Add in cheese and process well. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Punch dough down and roll into 14×10-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup of pesto onto dough within 1/2-inch of borders. (You’ll have leftover pesto to use for pasta or sandwich spreads.)
Roll dough tightly, starting at long end, and form a loaf shape. Pinch steams to close.
Place on oiled baking sheet, cover and let rise 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Uncover dough and bake for 30 -35 minutes or until sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool on wire rack.
Do you make a special or traditional bread for the holidays?
Reem | Simply Reem
Tuesday 1st of November 2011
This recipe looks and sounds amazing...
What a wonderful blend of flavors...