I love pull-apart rolls. There is so much joy to be had in the tearing and sharing of bread with loved ones. And there is a certain hedonistic pleasure in biting into soft, creamy bread and getting hits of flavour with each swirl.
I’ve been toying with the idea of using coconut milk in bread for a while now. The pesto rolls are a firm favourite in our household but I wanted to do some other flavours too. And my gaze fell on a small jar of smoky chilli bacon jam.
The end result was a wonderful partnership of flavours. Coconut milk to knead into the dough and provide a slightly sweet, creamy back note, paired with the half the rolls having salty pesto and the other half having smoky, hot bacon and chillies. All complemented by some grated Parmesan.
The recipe is simple, and the rewards are great.
I have been eyeing my friend Rhea Mitra-Dalal’s recipe for pesto pull-apart rolls for a long time. She makes them quite often, and the whole idea of tear and share rolls, flavoured with pesto has always appealed to me. I had even attempted something on similar lines a while ago, unfortunately with little success. But now, after having done a few different breads earlier on Aparna’s We Knead to Bake challenges in previous months, I felt more confident of being able to achieve the desired softness and texture that I was looking for. So, I thought of trying this again for this month’s challenge – which was to have a savoury, filled, decoratively shaped bread.
The end result was all I could have hoped for and more. The soft pillowy texture of the rolls, the goodness of the pesto and the sweetness of the homemade sun-dried tomatoes, all prefectly complemented by the rich umami of the parmesan cheese. These rolls were a massive hit at home. I have made two batches already, and they disappear almost as fast as I can make them.
Inspiration time in our household. Recently someone gave me some homemade chilli garlic pesto. Made with home grown basil and chillies. And it was some of the best I’ve ever tasted. I will now have to get the recipe and create this masterpiece from scratch myself.
In the meantime, some penne with garlic chilli pesto, and sprinkle of parmigiano reggiano. Sometimes the simplest things are the tastiest. When you can taste each ingredient, and they sing together in perfect harmony on your palate, you know you’ve got a winner.
Penne with a homemade chilli garlic pesto
Soups are a big favourite in our house, especially homemade ones, and we are constantly on the lookout for new and interesting recipes. I had got a packet of rocket leaves the other day to use in salads, but as usual, forgot to add them when making the salad. I hate wasting and throwing away food, and so started thinking of other ways to use the leaves. This soup has a brilliant attractive green colour that just pulls you in to give it a try. I kept the texture a bit thick and grainy, but it can be easily made into a smooth velvety soup as well.