There's nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house. This cheesy pesto pull-apart bread recipe uses our premium Girolomoni organic '00' flour - a fine-milled, high grade, soft wheat flour with a high gluten content, perfect for pasta, pizza, bread and other baking.

Makes 1 loaf

2 ¾ cups Girolomoni organic '00' flour, divided
1 tsp salt
¼ cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
25g fresh yeast
1/3 cup milk
100g butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature

½ cup Sabato all’arrabbiata pesto, pronto rosso or Calippo nduja
1 Cartwheel Creamery Marama Camembert, cut in 20 slices
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2-3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Place the warm water in a small bowl, add the sugar and yeast and stir briefly. Set aside for 5 minutes for yeast to activate (it will turn foamy).In a small saucepan, combine the milk and butter over low heat until butter is melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat set aside to cool a little. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 cups of the flour with the salt. Pour the milk mixture and the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and stir together. 

Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer and knead the dough on low speed for 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, kneading in between each addition so that the eggs are fully incorporated. Stop the mixer and add the remaining flour, then knead on medium speed for another 2-3 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft, but still slightly sticky.

Lightly flour a work surface, turn out the dough onto the surface, and knead a few times just to bring it together into a ball. Lightly grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to prove (rise) for one hour, or until it doubles in size.

Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle measuring roughly 50cm x 40cm, pressing the edges of the dough to make the sides as straight as possible. Spread the dough evenly with the pesto. Cut the rectangle, width-wise, into 5 equal strips, then cut, length-ways, into 4, so you have 20 squares. Place a slice of cheese in the middle of each square and sprinkle with thyme.

Lightly oil a 25cm x 12cm loaf tin. Stack the squares against each other, cut-sides down, into the tin. Lightly cover the tin with plastic wrap and set aside to prove for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the tin in the oven, to allow for even browning and continue baking for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the top with Parmigiano Reggiano and bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and rest in the tin for 10 minutes to firm before turning the loaf out onto a serving plate.

Recipe by Julie Le Clerc



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