Crusty Walnut Pesto Bread

  • Yield: 20 servings
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins


Walnut-Pesto Dough
3cups bread flour
2packages Rapid Rise yeast
1teaspoon salt
1tablespoon sugar
1large egg
1/3cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1cup finely chopped fresh basil
4cloves garlic, minced
1cup ground California walnuts
1cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/3cup hot water
-- an additional 1 ½ cups bread flour for adjusting the dough
-- cornmeal for dusting the sheetpan
1large egg
1tablespoon water


  1. Combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor or the bowl of a 5-quart mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Add the egg, olive oil, herbs, garlic, walnuts and cheese.  Process until the mixture is well blended.

  2. Add the hot water and process until a soft dough forms, using as much of the additional flour as needed.  Process for 1 minute, if using the food processor.  If using the mixer, knead for 5 minutes.  Turn the dough out into a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to double in volume, approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle an ungreased sheetpan with cornmeal.  Punch down the risen dough and divide it in half.  Shape each half into an oblong loaf and place the loaves side by side on the cornmeal-sprinkled sheetpan.  Cut five slashes in the top of each loaf.  Lightly cover the loaves and allow them to rise until they have doubled in volume.

  4. Whisk the egg and water together to make the glaze.  Uncover the loaves, brush them with the glaze and bake them at 400F in the middle of the oven.  Note: at the beginning of baking, place an 8-inch cake pan filled with an inch of boiling water on the bottom rack of the oven.  This will produce a crusty bread with a soft interior.  Bake the loaves until golden and crusty, approximately 25-30 minutes.  Remove the loaves from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack.  Serve this bread the same day it is baked.


Recipe courtesy of Anna Fowler of the University of Alabama; Birmingham, Alabama



Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 200
  • Glycemic Load .40
  • Fat 9g
  • Saturated Fat 1.5g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 2.5g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 4g
  • Cholesterol 20mg
  • Sodium 190mg
  • Potassium 85mg
  • Carbohydrate 24g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Sugars 1g
  • Protein 7g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Vitamin A 6%
  • Vitamin C 4%
  • Calcium 6%
  • Iron 10%