Star bread with beetroot pesto

Star bread with beetroot pesto

There are quite a few star bread posts on my blog. But I had never made one with beetroot pesto before. Breads with some kind of filling are loved by my boys and it’s always such a joy to bake for them.

Pesto:

2 medium beetroots, roasted in the oven till tender

1/3 cup ground almonds

Salt to taste

1 quarter teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil to be poured till you think the consistency is right

Peel the skin off the beets. Chop them up and grind in the mixer.

Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse till homogenous.

Taste and adjust accordingly.

Cheese:

3 cubes of Amul cheese, grated

Pinch of pepper

A scattering of dried mint

Remaining (other) ingredients:

1 egg yolk for the egg wash

Black and white sesame seeds

Oil for greasing (I used sunflower oil)

The dough:

11/2 teaspoons yeast

1 tablespoon caster sugar

3 cups of flour I used 1 cup all-purpose flour and 2 cups wheat flour

Some black pepper

A quarter teaspoon salt

ΒΌ cup sunflower oil

Warm water as needed

Stages of making the star bread

Place a cup of warm water in a large bowl. Add the sugar and the yeast. Stir with a spoon and set aside for about 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.

In another bowl, mix the flours, freshly-cracked black pepper and the salt.

Pour this mixture in the bowl of yeast which will have frothed by now. Add the oil and start mixing. Add more lukewarm water till the dough comes together.

Tip the contents of the bowl to your lightly flour-dusted work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.

Oil the bottom of the bowl and place the dough in it. Turn the dough around just so both sides are oiled. Cover with a kitchen cloth and leave to prove for about 45 minutes.

Once the dough has doubled in size, place it on the counter and knock back the air.

Roll the dough using both hands into a thick strip. Cut into four equal pieces.

Dust your work surface with flour and roll out one circle. You could use a plate for the measurement. All the four rolled-out spheres should be equal.

I ran out of baking paper so I used a tart tin bottom for placing the bread. And it was easy to lift the bread and place it on the baking tray.

Take one circle of dough and place it on the tart tin bottom. Add a layer of the beet pesto but keep the outer edge free. About half an inch.

Place another circle of dough and place the grated cheese mixture.

For the third layer I used pesto again. After the fourth circle is placed, place a small bowl (I used my smallest tart tin) so that the middle portion is marked/remains intact as the incisions are made on the layers. For the cuts, do check out the pictures in the collage.

After the cuts are made, take two strips and twist one strip over the other. Close the tips by pinching with your fingers.

For the next pair of strips, the twists should be made in the opposite direction. Continue till all the strips are done.

Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds. Set aside, covered, till it rises for another 30 minutes or so.

Bake in a preheated 180C oven for about 30 minutes.

Remove and cool.

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