Courgette, Goats Cheese and Garden Herb Pesto Bread

Ingredients & Method

For the Bread Dough

For the Garden Herb and Courgette Pesto

First prepare the bread dough. Weigh the flour and yeast directly into the Thermomix bowl using the built-in weighing scales, then add the rosemary and salt. Blend for 30 seconds on speed 8. Add the water and oil, then blend for a further 30 seconds on speed 8. Scrape the sides down, set the timer to 1 minute 30 seconds and press the Dough button.

Lightly grease a bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, gently shape it into a smooth ball, then place the dough ball in the greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean dry tea towel or cling film and leave the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40–60 minutes.

In the meantime, make the pesto. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic, with some salt and pepper added, for 4–5 minutes or until golden. Add the courgettes, pine nuts and linseeds and sauté for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Place the herbs, spinach, lemon juice, Parmesan and the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in the cleaned Thermomix bowl and blend to make a coarse paste. Add the cooled onion mixture, pulse a couple of times, then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Set aside to let the flavours develop for about 20 minutes. (Transfer any leftover pesto to a covered jar or an airtight container and store in the fridge – see Cook’s Notes.)

Grease an 18cm or 20cm springform tin and lightly dust it with flour. Carefully turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knock it back, then either flatten it using your fingertips or very lightly roll it with a rolling pin into a rectangle about 15mm thick.

Spread the measured pesto evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge, then crumble the goat’s cheese evenly over the top. From a long side, roll up the dough into a spiral (like a Swiss roll) and then cut it crossways into 6 even, thick slices. Place the spirals, cut-side up, in the prepared tin (they’ll be quite snug), then lightly cover with a clean dry tea towel or cling film and leave to rise again (prove) in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.

Bake the bread in the oven for 40–50 minutes or until it is risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully turn it out and transfer to a wire rack. Brush the top with olive oil. Serve warm or cold.

To serve, place the bread on a board and serve it whole (see Cook’s Notes). Allow everyone to tear, share and eat. Enjoy!

Cook’s Notes

Store the leftover pesto in a covered jar or an airtight container (pour a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil on top of the pesto, before you cover the jar/container) in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Stir the leftover pesto into tomato soup or serve it tossed through warm pasta.

Serve the pesto bread on its own or with soup or an antipasto platter (of cold meats, cheese and pickles) as a starter, light lunch, snack or supper. Alternatively, serve the bread as an accompaniment to a main course, such as tagliatelle with sautéed courgettes and fresh herbs.

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