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

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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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Chicken fillet with creamy ricotta, pesto and tomato vinaigrette

Chicken with ricotta and pesto
Chicken with ricotta and pesto

Chicken with ricotta and tomato vinaigrette. That sounds very Italien/Mediterranean, doesn’t it? The chives also give a little Scandinavian touch.
I know. Chives are used in Italy too, though maybe not as much. Chives feel very “Swedish” for me.
But I found this recipe in an old cookbook named The Mediterranean kitchen, so let’s call it Italien.

This is a perfect recipe if you’re planning to invite some friends for dinner.
You can prepare everything in advance. When your guests arrive, you just have to put everything into the oven.
Then you can enjoy a welcome drink with your friends while you are waiting for the food to be ready. The only thing you have to check now and then is the temperature of the chicken. Overcooked chicken is boring, even if it’s stuffed with ricotta.
All your guests may tell you how delicious it tastes, but you know that they are lying. You can see it in their faces. They are desperately trying to find a polite excuse to avoid eating that dry piece of chicken.
To avoid this, use a thermometer. Always be sure that the inner temperature is more than 158ºF / 70ºC and less than 167ºF / 75ºC.

Let’s start with the tomato vinaigrette.

Ingredients vinaigrette
I know it can be hard to find decent tomatoes at this time of year,
especially if you’re living in the northern parts of the world like I do.

Try to drain them with salt. Salt reduces the amount of liquid in the tomatoes and gives them a more concentrated flavor.
Cut the tomatoes into small cubes and place them in a strainer. Add some salt and let them drain for 15 minutes.

Draining tomatoes. Picture fro another recipe.

While you are waiting for the tomatoes to drain you can mix the chive with the olive oil with a hand mixer or a blender. Add the tomatoes together with some lime juice and zest and put the vinaigrette in the fridge.

Combine the ricotta cheese with pesto. If you want to go the extra mile you do your own pesto. You will find a good recipe here.

PestoRicotta

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and fry them on both sides a minute or two, until they have a nice golden brown color.
Cut a pocket into each chicken breast and fill it with ricotta and pesto mixture.

You can prepare this far.

A suitable side dish may be potato wedges because they can be cooked in the oven together with the chicken. Just let them get 10 to 15 minutes in the oven before you let the chicken join them.

When the chicken is ready, you just pour some vinaigrette over it and serve it with your preferred side dish and perhaps a salad.

 

 

PS. Why not serve with a glass of with wine. Perhaps a Sauvignon Blanc.
Or a glass of Chianti if you prefer red wine.

Print Recipe
Chicken fillet with creamy ricotta, pesto and tomato vinaigrette
Chicken fillet filled with creamy ricotta and pesto. Served with a delicious tomato and chives vinaigrette.
Chicken with ricotta and pesto
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15-20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Tomato vinaigrette
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15-20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Tomato vinaigrette
Chicken with ricotta and pesto
Instructions
  1. Cut tomatoes in pieces and put them in a strainer. Add a teaspoon salt and let them drain for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Mix olive oil with chives. Add the tomatoes, lime juice, and zest. Combine everything and put in the fridge.
  3. Fry the chicken on both sides a few minutes. It should just get some nice golden brown color.
  4. Place the chicken on a cutting board. Cut a deep pocket into each piece and fill it with pesto and ricotta mixture.
  5. Pre heat the oven to 450ºF / 220ºC. Roast the chicken in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The inner temperature should be at least 158ºF / 70ºC.
  6. Place tthe chicken breasts on a plate and pour the vinaigrette over it.
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