Baltic Maid

Tomato-Pesto Swirl Bread

Posted on | October 19, 2011 | 14 Comments

I got really excited about this recipe.  I love homemade bread, and I love pesto.   Combining both in a swirl bread and adding tomato paste is absolutely genius.  And let me tell you, baking this bread will fill your house with the most delicious smell.  I love the smell of homemade bread but this takes it just a little further.  I just couldn’t wait for this loaf to come out of the oven.  And it doesn’t just smell delicious, it also looks beautiful and tastes absolutely divine…


  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached bread flour


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated


  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp basil pesto


In a bowl, mix together the yeast, lukewarm water, sugar, and the one cup of bread flour.  Let the mix rest for 30 minutes.

Then add the one cup of whole wheat flour and the semolina flour.  Knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.  Add the olive oil and the garlic.  Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes.  I sprinkled a little flour onto the work area several times.  Form the dough into a ball.  Place it in a bowl which has been lightly greased with olive oil.  Turn the dough in the bowl to lightly cover it from all sides with the oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes at a warm location.

Lightly flour the work surface.  Shape the dough into a rectangle and roll it out to a rectangular shape of about 17 inches (43 cm) by 15 inches (38 cm).  The long side should be facing you. 

Spread the tomato paste onto the half nearer to you.  Leave about 1/2 inch (little more than 1 cm) uncovered at the edge near you.  With your finger spread a little water on this edge.  Then fold the uncovered dough over the tomato-paste-covered dough.  With the rolling pin, gently flatten the folded edge and make sure the dough is evenly thick everywhere.

Spread the pesto onto the dough.  Leave 1/2 inch (little more than 1 cm) uncovered;  this time at the far edge.  Spread the pesto everywhere else onto the dough.  Again rub a little water onto the uncovered edge.

Roll the dough up, starting with the edge closest to you.  Don’t roll the dough too tight.  You don’t want to squeeze out the pesto or the tomato paste.  Seal the seam.  Place the dough roll with the seam down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Form a ring and seal the ends together. 

Then slash the top of the bread loaf.  Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at a warm location until it approximately doubled in size (about 45 minutes – 1 hour).

Then bake in a preheated oven at 350°F / 175°C for about 40 minutes until golden brown.

Guten Appetit!!!

Source:  Slightly adapted from Cookistry 


14 Responses to “Tomato-Pesto Swirl Bread”

  1. Lizzie
    October 19th, 2011 @ 11:32

    Looks amazing!!! I love all your recipes, but this has to be in the top favourites :D

  2. Juls
    October 19th, 2011 @ 23:57

    This is a BEAUTIFUL looking bread!

  3. BalticMaid
    October 20th, 2011 @ 00:14

    Thanks, Lizzie!!! You’ve made my day! :-D

  4. BalticMaid
    October 20th, 2011 @ 00:21

    @ Juls: Thank you for your comment and thanks for visiting!

  5. michelle in wellington, nz
    October 20th, 2011 @ 05:01

    This looks so good. I must try it on my parents when I visit over Christmas – my dear Dad makes and freezes his own pesto from home-grown basil.

    This bread will be so nice with a salad and cold meat (Christmas is in our summertime) – and a bottle of wine!

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe, Miichelle downunder in New Zealand

  6. BalticMaid
    October 20th, 2011 @ 15:16

    @ Michelle: Thanks for commenting. I bet this bread would be even better with homemade pesto. You might want to consider making more loaves though. Mine was meant to be eaten with a salad but it was long gone by the time dinner came around… :-P

  7. Rachel (teacher-chef)
    October 20th, 2011 @ 16:52

    Your photo on FoodGawker caught my eye – absolutely beautiful. I know that I will never be able to make this as beautiful as you did – but thanks for sharing this!!

  8. corrina
    October 21st, 2011 @ 01:46

    wow. it looks breathtaking, and i imagine it tastes just as good as it looks!

  9. BalticMaid
    October 21st, 2011 @ 10:30

    @ Rachel: You should give it a try. It looks a lot harder to make than it actually is. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  10. BalticMaid
    October 21st, 2011 @ 10:40

    @ Corrina: Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it!!! This bread really does taste good, no divine. It was gone so quickly, it didn’t even make it to the dinner table… :-P

  11. Richa@HobbyandMore
    December 18th, 2011 @ 12:59

    This bread looks so pretty and i love the swirls!

  12. BalticMaid
    December 19th, 2011 @ 11:22

    @ Richa: Thank you! :-)

  13. Marion
    December 19th, 2011 @ 13:40

    Das Brot sieht wirklich gut aus :-) Ich möchte es essen!

  14. BalticMaid
    December 21st, 2011 @ 14:28

    @ Marion: Vielen Dank!!! :-)

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