My basil plants have been thriving all summer! We made 3 big jars of pesto throughout the season, most of which was used for making pesto pasta. I got a little bored of just making regular pesto pasta, and wanted to try something new! I thought, why not make cinnamon rolls but with pesto and cheese instead? 3 hours later, my Pesto & Parmesan Pull-Apart Buns were born!
Pesto & Parm Pull-Apart Buns
This recipe is adapted from King Arthur's soft cinnamon rolls recipe. This recipe calls for Tangzhong, which is an Asian yeasted bread technique that calls for cooking a portion of the flour and liquid to pre-gelatinize the starches in the flour, resulting in a bread dough that is easier to work with, and bread that is soft, moist and fluffy.
I hate grating cheese with a passion. For this recipe, you can chop the Parmesan cheese into fine chunks, or even just crumble it with your hands, and spread it evenly on top of the pesto before rolling the dough into a log (make sure to leave a 1/2" space on one of the short edges to make sealing the dough easier). You can adjust the amount of pesto and cheese to your liking!
Pesto & Parm Pull-Apart Buns
- 70g Water
- 70g Milk
- 26g All Purpose Flour
- 495g All Purpose Flour
- 20g Dry Milk Powder
- 1 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
- 170g Lukewarm Milk
- 2 Eggs
- 85g Unsalted Butter, melted
- 80 - 90g (1/3 cup) Pesto
- 100 - 150g Parmasean cheese
- In a saucepan, heat water, milk and flour over medium high heat. Whisking until the mixture thickens and reaches custard consistency. Remove from heat.
- Dissolve active dry yeast in lukewarm milk until foam appears.
- Add all bread dough ingredients and all tangzhong into a mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer or by hand, mix until the dough comes together. Let rest for 20 minutes.
- Knead the dough either in a stand mixer with a dough hook, or by hand, until a smooth coherent dough is formed.
- Shape the dough into a ball. Cover and let rise in a greased bowl for 1 hour, until it nearly doubles.
- Lightly flour the counter top and tip the dough onto the work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 14"x20" rectangle.
- Spread the pesto onto the rolled out dough, leaving 1/2" of exposed dough along one of the short edges (see photo above).
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of the pesto.
- Starting from the filling-covered short edge, roll the dough into a log.
- Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Place each piece into either a greased 13" cast iron skillet, or a greased 9" x 13" rectangular pan.
- Let the buns rise for another hour. Once they have increased in size and are pressing against each other, they are ready to bake.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the buns for 25-30 minutes. The internal temperature of the buns should read 190°F. If the buns look a little pale, broil them on high for 2-3 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- To add a flavour booster and give shine to the buns, brush some melted garlic butter onto the buns once they are out of the oven.