Cheese and Pesto Bread Wreath with Tomato Dipping sauce
5 from 1 vote

Christmas Bread Wreath with cheese and pesto

A pull apart Christmas Bread Wreath filled with oozing cheese and pesto will make a great centrepiece for your holiday table.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time3 hrs
Servings: 25 filled bread rolls
Author: Marcellina

Ingredients

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

Filling

  • 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

Instructions

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.

To serve

  • 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.