Buttery sourdough pesto rolls

Sourdough pesto rolls

I know that I have already written a recipe for sourdough bread for beginners. But perhaps this recipe suits even better.
You only need a minimum of experience and equipment to succeed.
This recipe requires a big kitchen bowl, kitchen scale, cling film (or a food-safe plastic container with a lid), a sharp knife, and a working surface. It helps if you have a rolling pin and some parchment paper, but it’s not necessary.
The ingredients required are wheat flour, butter, milk, sugar, sea-salt, pesto, and a mature sourdough starter.

The mature starter is probably the biggest challenge in this recipe. But if you haven’t cracked that code yet you can always buy a starter. But I urge you to try to make your own. It’s more satisfying, and it’s not that hard. Besides, buying a starter feels a bit like cheating, don’t you think?

Sourdough starter

I found a half-filled jar of pesto in my fridge that had to be used. I bought it to save time on another occasion. It’s not anything I do very often. Homemade pesto tastes better, but some brands are not that bad (did I hear anybody saying anything about cheating). So you will not find any recipe for pesto in this post, but that shouldn’t be any problem. Just Google “Pesto” and you will have more recipes than you will ever have a chance to try. If you want to be adventurous, you can always try my kale and Rucola pesto. Or you can be as lazy as I was and buy your pesto.

Kale and Rucola pesto
Kale Pesto

 

There’s a lot of milk and butter in this recipe, so you will not get that crunchy crust that is typical of sourdough bread. Both the crumb and the crust will be quite soft. But with much more taste. That’s the reason why I try to exchange yeast for sourdough starter most of the times. It takes longer, but it will be tastier. Adding the pesto and you will have an unbeatable combination. They will taste like an Italian cinnamon roll, but without cinnamon, if you know what I mean.

Kneading all that butter into the dough by hand take some time. But it can be done. I did it and so can you. So if you don’t have a dough mixer, don’t let that stop you. Besides, there is no better way to get to know your dough. You will experience how your dough transforms from a sticky mass to be more and more manageable during the process. So get your hands down to the bowl and start working.

Dough

Forming the loaf when you are baking sourdough bread is important. I don’t claim it’s rocket science to form a loaf, but it still requires some training. Scoring the loaf is even trickier. With these sourdough pesto rolls, you don’t have to bother about that. You only have to roll out the dough into a square. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can just flatten it with your hands. Spread some pesto on top of the dough and roll it tightly.
Scoring the dough is even easier because it’s not necessary. You only have to cut the rolled dough into pieces and place them on an oven plate with parchment paper.

Rolled dough

 

Dough with pesto

 

rolling dough

 

rolls

 

roll close up

That’s it.

Everybody can do that. So start softening the butter and measuring up the flour, and bake some irresistible sourdough pesto rolls. Eat them with your favorite soup together with some friends. But beware. These rolls will disappear quickly.

Sourdough pesto rolls

 

Buttery sourdough pesto rolls

Print Recipe
Sourdough pesto rolls
Irresistible, soft dinner rolls with lots of flavors from butter, pesto, and sourdough. Serve these sourdough pesto rolls warm with your favorite soup.
Sourdough pesto rolls
Servings
big rolls
Ingredients
Servings
big rolls
Ingredients
Sourdough pesto rolls
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients except salt in a large kitchen bowl. Use your hands so that you can feel when all the pieces of butter have been incorporated into the dough. Place the dough somewhere warm and let it rest for one hour.
  2. Add salt and stretch and fold the dough according to the video in the recipe notes. Perform 3 more stretch and folds during the bulk fermentation, spaced by 30 minutes.
  3. You can, of course, use a dough mixer if you have one. Add all ingredients, except salt and run until the dough passes the windowpane test. Add the salt the last minutes.
  4. The time required for the bulk fermentation can vary a lot. Mine took 3 hours. Don't focus on time, but observe how the dough looks instead. It should have risen 40-50 % and show some bubbles on the top. The best temperature for bulk fermentation is about 77ºF/25ºC. If you have trouble finding a sufficiently warm place, you can place the dough into the oven with just the lamp lit.
  5. Lightly flour your working surface and dump out the dough. Flatten the dough into a rectangular shape, about 3 mm (1/10 inch) thick. Use a rolling pin. Spread pesto on top of the dough and roll the dough from one side to the other. Place the seam downwards.
  6. Cut the roll into pieces, about 2,5 cm / 1 inch thick and place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cover with clingfilm and let the rolls rise for about 60-90 minutes.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 445ºF / 230ºC. Bake the rolls about 15 minutes. They should have a nice golden brown color when ready. Let the rolls cool on a wire rack.
Recipe Notes

For those who prefer to use a stretch and fold technique instead of running the dough into a dough mixer, you may find this video helpful. You can also look at one of my previous recipes.

 

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Mushroom and blueberry crostini with anise

Crostini with mushroom, blueberries, and anise

Baking sourdough bread is one of the most satisfying things I know unless my starter is messing with me. That’s why I’m trying to bake on a regular basis, at least once a week. I try to avoid my starter getting into a deeper sleep. If they are allowed to fall into a coma they can be a bit grumpy when you try to wake them up. Trust me.

But if you bake often there will be a lot of bread. And quite often my family and I don’t manage to eat everything before it gets stale.
It’s not a big deal since there are lots of things you can do with stale bread like bread crumbs, croutons, etc.

But the easiest way to take care of stale bread is perhaps to make a grilled sandwich or crostini out of it. The result is often delicious. Much better than if you had used some junk bread from the grocery store. And the best thing is that you can put almost anything on a crostini. Search your refrigerator to see what you can find. With a little imagination, you can create a fantastic lunch, at almost no cost.

This week I found some leftover brown mushrooms in the fridge. That felt like a good start. Nothing can go completely wrong with mushrooms. Now I only had to find something that goes well with mushrooms. Butter and garlic are the obvious choices. But I also found some creme cheese. That should work as well.

Portabello

 

Star anise

 

Now it was time to be a little bit more adventurous. Instead of choosing mushroom-friendly herbs like thyme or oregano I went for star anise. I also wanted a hint of sweetness, and I had already grabbed the bottle with balsamic glaze when I changed my mind. Balsamic glaze is great, but not very adventurous. Besides, it was not long ago that I published a recipe with mushrooms and balsamic glaze. Another one would feel a bit boring. But what should I choose instead?

After a moment of thinking, I chose blueberries.

Now, before you leave, thinking that my ability to pair food can be compared to that of an ape, I want to point out that anise and blueberries work excellently together. Blueberry jam with star anise is a treat.
But would blueberries and mushrooms be a good pairing? I had no idea. I have to admit that I had never read any recipe with these two ingredients together.

So I decided to see if I could find anything on Google. And to my surprise, I found lots of recipes claiming that mushrooms and blueberries were an excellent combination. A bit unexpected, but yet excellent. And don’t forget the cream cheese. Cream cheese is a good pairing to everything, so I decided to give it try.

And to my surprise, it was just as good as everybody claimed. I thought it would work, but I never expected it to be that tasty. Anise is an exceptional spice for both mushrooms and blueberries. That was perhaps not so unexpected. But mushrooms and blueberries are also a good pairing. I promise. Next time I make this crostini I will reduce the amount of creme cheese though because I think it softens the flavors a bit to much. And perhaps I will also add some muscovado sugar to enhance the taste of blueberries.

Cooking is an eternal process of experimentation. That’s what makes it so fun.

Mushroom and blueberry crostini with anise

Print Recipe
Mushroom and blueberry crostini with anise
This mushroom crostini provides a lot of exciting flavors. A slice of fried sourdough bread topped with cream cheese, mushrooms, and blueberries with a hint of licorice from star anise.
Servings
crostini
Ingredients
Servings
crostini
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Start by grinding star anise to a coarse powder in a mortar and pestle. Grind the whole stars (both seed and pod) Mince the garlic clove
  2. Cut the mushrooms into quarters and fry on high temperature with half of the butter. Lower the heat and add garlic and a pinch of anise the last minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Fry the bread slice with the rest of the butter in a skillet until golden brown.
  4. Spread cream cheese on the bread slice and add the mushrooms.
  5. Mash half of the bluberries togheter wit a pinch of anise. Spread on top of the mushrooms.
  6. Garnish with the rest of the blueberries and sprinkle the rest of the anise over the crostini.
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