Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Pesto Pinwheel variation

I found this Pesto Pinwheel recipe while watching the Great British Bake-Off and was inspired to try my own version. I'm not a fan of the vegetables used in the original. The first time I made it I used broccoli, potato, carrots, celery and mushrooms and that worked quite well.  This time I went even further afield and tried making a pesto with spinach instead of basil and with a different mix of vegetables.  I'm still amazed at how easy this is and very glad I tried it the first time.

So here is my take on the Pesto Pinwheel:


  • 500g strong white flour (bread flour)
  • 10g table salt
  • 25g caster sugar (bakers sugar)
  • 10g yeast
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50 ml milk (I use whole milk)
  • olive oil, for greasing the bowl
  • 125 ml warm water

  • 1 c. celery, sliced
  • ¼-½ tsp. asafeotida
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 small-to-medium parsnips
  • 4 small carrots 
  • 1 large or 2 small beets
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • 50 g toasted walnuts

  • 25g walnuts
  • 25g Parmesan cheese (I used shredded)
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 75-100g baby spinach
  • ¼ tsp. oregano
  • ¼ tsp. molasses

  • 1 egg
  • 10g walnut pieces
  • sprinkle of flaked sea salt
  • sprinkle of ground black pepper


  • Beat the eggs
  • Put the bread flour, salt, sugar, yeast, butter, beaten eggs, milk, and 25 ml of the warm water in a mixing bowl
  • Mix until combined (I used a mixer with a dough hook)
  • Add up to 100 ml of water until a soft dough forms
  • Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic
  • Lightly oil a large bowl and put the dough ball in to rise
  • Cover with cling-film and let rise in warm place for an hour or so

  • While the dough is rising work on the filling
  • Pre-heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3
  • Peel and chop the carrots, beets, and parsnips into ¾ -1 in. pieces
  • Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender
  • Sauté the celery and asafoetida in the butter until the celery is translucent
  • Take the vegetables out of the oven and set aside to cool

  • Toast the walnuts for the filling and pesto in a dry pan on the stove-top on low heat. Set 50 g of the walnuts aside for the filling and use the remaining 25g in the pesto.
  • Put the the spinach, the walnuts, and olive oil in the food processor and process until very fine. If the processor is small you might need to divide the ingredients and do it in sections.

  • Finish the bread dough by knocking it back and kneading for 20 seconds before cutting it in two
  • Wrap ½ in a moisture-proof wrapper and set aside
  • Roll the other half out into a 30cm round
  • Let rest for 5 minutes, the dough will shrink back some
  • Roll out to 32cm and place on a large baking sheet
  • Spread 3 tablespoons of the 'pesto' on the dough, leaving the last inch or so clear
  • Pile the roasted vegetable feta, and walnuts in a dome on the dough circle
  • Roll out the 2nd half of the dough in the same way as the first half
  • Brush the edges of the base layer of dough with a little water
  • Carefully place the top layer of dough on the base and seal the edges
  • Place a small bowl over the middle of the assemblage
  • Cut the dough into 16 equal wedges from the bowl to the edge
  • Gently twist wedges in pairs away from each other once (this will make a sort of star pattern)
  • Set aside to rise for 30 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5

  • Brush the top of the dough with beaten egg
  • Sprinkle the walnuts, salt, and pepper on the center of the wheel
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, covering with foil after the top is brown to prevent the twists from burning
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving

Tools: sauté pan, baking dish, baking pan, food processor, stand mixer


  1. That looks great but I gotta tell you it's WAY outta my league as far as things I can cook. My hat's off to you.

  2. I promise it's easier than it looks-- the hardest part is making the bread. The rest is just roast veggies and pesto (which doesn't have to be homemade) enclosed in bread. This was the first yeast/knead bread I ever made that actually rose and came out the way the recipe said it would for me.