What are your weekend plans?
I’m loving the slower pace of my weekends, with the focus on what I’m hoping to cook or bake plus as many long walks as I can wangle.
We couldn’t resist hopping onto the ‘pot bread train’ using our own Pesto Princess Basil Pesto. Goodness! It’s a recipe you’ve got to try. We cooked it in the magnificent Le Creuset Signature Round Casserole and served it with Pesto Princess Creamy Carrot Soup that we always stash in the freezer.
How would you like to win a Le Creuset Signature Round Casserole? Head this way.
Fingers crossed for you 😉
3 cups (390g) all-purpose flour
7g instant yeast
1½ tsp salt
1½ cups luke warm water
4 Tbsp Pesto Princess Basil Pesto
1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water, mixing until a soft, sticky dough has formed.
2. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap (or better still, a beeswax wrap) and let it stand in a warm spot at room temperature for an hour. If it’s a cold day, put the dough in the oven with just the light on and the oven door closed.
3. Once the dough has risen for about 40 minutes of the required hour, remove the dough from the oven if you kept is cosy as per Step 2 above.
4. Put your empty cast-iron casserole in the oven with the lid on (we used the handsome 22cm Le Creuset Signature Round Casserole) and preheat it to 230°C.
5. Tear off a piece of baking paper, larger than the casserole and lightly dust with flour. Set aside.
6. Once the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap (keep it for a later step) and turn it out onto a lightly floured board, or kitchen counter. Press the dough down gently to form a disc and spread the Pesto Princess Basil Pesto on top.
7. Fold the dough from top to bottom. Then from left to right and flip it over so the ‘seam’ of the bread is underneath. Dust the top lightly with flour.
8. Using a bench scraper or spatula, lift the dough onto the prepared baking paper and let it rest on the countertop, covered with that lightly oiled plastic wrap for another 15 minutes or so.
9. Using your best oven gloves, carefully remove the hot Le Creuset Signature Round Casserole from the oven and remove the lid. Be very careful not to burn yourself. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and transfer it, using the baking paper, into the preheated casserole, paper and all.
10. Sprinkle the top of the bread with some water for a crunchy crust. Put the lid on and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Once the crust is golden, remove the casserole and use the baking paper to lift the bread onto a cooling rack. As tempting as it is to get stuck in, let the bread cool before slicing, to keep it moist.
Photography, Recipes and Styling by Michelle Parkin.