Braided Broccoli-Pesto Bread
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2½ cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • Broccoli Pesto
  • 1 head of Broccoli chopped into florets (about 2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves- peeled
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup blanched toasted almond
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups bread flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine.
  3. Knead well until a stiff dough has formed. If dough is too sticky- gradually add the extra half
  4. cup of flour. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  6. When the dough as proofed, turn it out onto a well floured surface, form dough into an oval shape and roll out.
  7. Add the pesto ingredients to your food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth.
  8. Spread the pesto into the middle of the dough and cut inch-thick strips onto either side.
  9. To "braid" the bread- overlap one over the other- stretching each piece to seal the the beneath it.
  10. Once the loaf is braided- brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sea salt.
  11. Slide a the loaf onto a cookie sheet or pizza stone, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and crisp. Cut into slices and serve warm dipped into your favorite sauce.
Recipe by The Baker Chick at