Saturday, January 14, 2017

Pesto Pinwheel

These bready pinwheels are lovely with a cup of warm tea, for tea-time snack. According to Rachel Allen, "A smart way of using white yeast dough, pinwheels would make a luxurious snack". It is from her cookbook Rachel's Everyday Kitchen, one that I purchased almost two years ago and have not made any recipes from it, until now. 

Rachel has given the option to use either tapenade or pesto for the filling, and I have used Basil Pesto, following her recipe she has given in the book, but I made my pesto a little coarse instead of a smooth paste. You could however, use any of your favourite pesto. The bread is easy enough to make, it is a basic white bread dough with two risings. The dough is easy to work with. Best prepare the pesto before you start with the bread dough. The dough is rolled out, and the pesto is spread over the dough. Roll the dough up Swiss roll style, slice into pieces, place onto baking trays, and leave to prove until doubled in size. 

Sprinkle some grated cheese over the pieces and bake until golden brown.

These Pesto Pinwheels are lovely when eaten warm, minutes from the oven.

The crumbs of the bread is soft with cripsy crust. Very tasty with the pesto and cheese. I had two while they are still warm, minutes after baking, with a cup of warm tea in the afternoon. I rewarm the leftovers in the oven for a few minutes for breakfast the next morning. 

Pesto Pinwheels
(Rachel's Everyday Kitchen, by Rachel Allen)
makes 20 pinwheels
215ml (7fl oz) warm water
1 tsp caster sugar
1-1/2 tsp dried yeast or 15gm (1/2 oz) fresh yeast
or 1 x 7gm sachet of fast-action yeast
350gm (12 oz) strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
75gm (3oz) mozzarella, grated
75gm (3 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
75gm (3oz) tapenade or pesto

In a measuring jug, mix the warm water with the sugar and yeast and leave to stand in a warm place for 5 minutes or until the mixture is creamy. If using fast-action yeast, there is no need to let the mixture stand.
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric food mixer fitted with a dough hook, and make a well in the centre. Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture, then pour into the well and mix together by hand or using the food mixer until the dough has come together and is slightly wet and sticky (add a little more water if it seems too dry).
Knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and springy to the touch. (If kneading in the electric food mixer, 5 minutes is usually long enough). Grease the bowl with olive oil and put the dough back into it, then cover the top tightly with cling film and place somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size. This may take up to 2 or even (on a cold day) 3 hours.
Meanwhile, grease a large baking sheet with olive oil and mix together the two grated cheeses in a bowl.
When the dough has doubled in size, transfer to a work surface dusted in flour. Sprinkle some flour over the dough and roll it out into a rectangle measuring roughly 20x25cm (8x10in). Spread the tapenade or pesto over the dough to cover it, then roll up like a Swiss roll, starting at one of the longer edges.
Cut the rolled-up dough into 20 even-sized slices, then place, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet, well spaced apart, and sprinkle each one with the cheese. Set aside and leave to prove for 20-30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C (400F), Gas Mark 6.
When the pinwheels have doubled in size, place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.

Rachel's Tips :

  • To give you more time, you can mix cold instead of warm water with the yeast and leave the dough in the fridge to double in size. It will take 16-24 hours for the first rising (when the dough is in the bowl) and about 6 hours for the second rising/proving (when the dough is shaped).
  • Once made, the pinwheels will keep in an airtight container for up to four days. They are best if reheated in a moderate oven (preheated to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4) for about 5 minutes.
  • The quantities in this recipe can easily be multiplied.

Makes about 150gm (5oz)
50gm (2 oz) basil, chopped
25gm (1 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
25gm (1oz) pine nuts
1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or finely grated
75ml (3fl oz) olive oil, plus extra to cover

Place the basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and whiz together. With the machine still running, add the olive oil and blend to a smooth paste.
Add salt to taste, then pour into a sterilized jar and top with enough olive oil to cover the pesto by 1cm (1/2 inch) before sealing the jar shut. Store in the fridge.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #13 hosted by 


  1. I can eat these at any time of the day! They look super yum.

  2. I love Rachel Allen's recipes, so easy and simple with easily available ingrediants. I think I will make these to put in the boys lunch box. Have a nice week !

  3. These would be good for lunch, or snack, or breakfast. NIce pick.

  4. I love Rachel's recipes. This one looks like such fun and so many ways to change it up!