Pesto French Bread

Add some zip to this French bread by filling it with pesto.

Pesto French Bread


2 loaves 2 loaves


Intermediate Intermediate

Prep Time

0:20 0:20

Bake Time

25 to 30 minutes 25 to 30 minutes

Rest Time

10 minutes 10 minutes

Rise Time

30 minutes 30 minutes

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  • Dough
  • 6 to 6-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 (4-1/2 tsp.) envelopes Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Instant Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups very warm water (120° to 130°F)*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Cornmeal
  • 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pesto Filling
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, and salt. Gradually add water and oil to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
  2. Divide dough in half; roll each half to 15 x 12-inch rectangle. Spread each with Pesto Filling to within 1/2 inch of edges. Beginning at long end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Taper ends by gently rolling back and forth. Place loaves, seam sides down, on large greased baking sheet, sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  3. With sharp knife, make a lengthwise cut (1/8-inch deep) on top of each loaf to within 1-inch of ends. Brush with egg white mixture. Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet; cool on wire rack.
  4. Pesto Filling: In small bowl, combine parsley, basil, garlic, oil, and cheese. Stir to blend.
  5. Serving Suggestion: Cut bread diagonally to 1-inch slices. Brush cut sides with olive oil. Grill or broil in low to medium heat until golden brown, about 1 minute or less per side.

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