Christmas baking is always extra special. This Cheese and Pesto filled Bread Wreath with Tomato Dipping Sauce is exactly that! Perfectly special for that Potluck Christmas Dinner, or if you are having friends over for pre-Christmas drinks or a nibble during gift giving on Christmas Day, this Cheese and Pesto filled Bread Wreath with Tomato Dipping Sauce covers all occasions.
This is a Flavour bomb!
Because of the oozy mozzarella, cream cheese and pesto inside these little balls of soft brioche, this is an irresistible appetiser. Dip this warm bread into garlicky Tomato Dipping Sauce and you have…a flavour bomb! While I brushed the baked bread wreath with melted butter, you could guild the lily with melted garlic butter just like Jamie Oliver’s Tear and Share Garlic Bread.
You are going to love this and your guests will thank you!
Cheese and Pesto filled Bread Wreath takes a little bit of time.
First of all, you can make things easier by preparing the Tomato Dipping Sauce the day before. Oh, heck, even a couple of weeks before and freeze it! Just warm it in the microwave or in a small saucepan when you need it. Use good quality, store bought pesto and mix it with the cheeses while you wait for the dough to rise. And really, the actual work time is short. So put up your feet while you wait for the yeast to do it’s thing.
Resisting is futile!
Most of all, you are going to be amazed at how addictive this Cheese and Pesto Filled Bread Wreath with Tomato Dipping sauce actually is. Try stopping at just one… I know. When I baked this wreath bread we all had good intentions of restraint but….it didn’t work.
What if you actually do have leftovers?
What I really love about this bread, is if you should have any leftovers, store in the refrigerator and the next day it will reheat beautifully either in the oven or in the microwave.
I love to hear what you think about this recipe!
Cheese and Pesto Bread Wreath
To make the dough
- 500 g/ 4 cups bread flour
- 2 tsps active dry yeast
- 2 tsps sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 100 g/ 3 1/2 oz butter melted
- 280 ml/9 1/2 fl oz warm water
- olive oil to grease
- 1 egg, beat with a pinch of salt
- 200 g/7oz mozzarella cheese grated
- 75 g/3oz cream cheese softened
- 3 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
Tomato dipping sauce
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 400 g/14oz can whole tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt to taste
- melted butter to finish
- rosemary sprigs to garnish
To make dough
- In a small bowl place yeast, sugar and a couple of tablespoons of warm water. Allow to stand 10 minutes until foamy'
- In a large bowl place flour, salt, yeast mixture, butter and water. Stir until well combined.
- Turn on floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Wash large bowl and lightly coat with olive oil. Place dough into oiled bowl and turn over to coat with oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- In the meantime make the filling by combining all ingredients in a bowl.
- When the dough is ready, turn out onto floured surface and divide into 25 pieces by weighing the entire dough, divide by 25 and weigh each piece as you break it off.
- Cover dough with a kitchen towel while you prepare the balls.
- Take one ball, roll or press into a circle, place a spoonful of cheese filling in the middle and gather up the edges of the dough, pressing well to seal. Place ball, sealed side down on a floured surface and roll gently to form a ball.
- Repeat with remaining dough and filling
- Line a large pizza tray with non stick paper and preheat oven to 200C/395F.
- Place a small (10cm) oven proof bowl in the centre of the lined pizza tray. Arrange 9 balls around the bowl and then the remaining 16 around the first 9 balls forming a wreath.
- Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Brush the wreath with beaten egg. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Make the Tomato Dipping Sauce
- Puree tomatoes in a food processor or with a stick blender.
- Heat olive and garlic in a medium saucepan until the garlic sizzles. Don't allow the garlic to colour.
- Add tomatoes, oregano, sugar and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer.
- Simmer 15-20 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Remove the bowl from the baked wreath being careful because it is hot. Slide the wreath off the baking paper and onto a serving plate. Brush the bread wreath well with melted butter. Fill small bowl with Tomato Dipping Sauce and replace into the centre of the Bread Wreath. Garnish with little sprigs of rosemary. Serve warm and enjoy.