Plaited pesto, bacon and cheese bread

Plaited Pesto, Bacon and Cheese Bread

This recipe is one of my most popular bakes and I truly get such pleasure when creating this. I look for any excuse to make this bread – it isn’t a daily bread, rather a special-occasion-slash-abandon-all-hope-of-being-thin kind of bread. This is also a super versatile recipe in the sense that you can fill it with whatever you like, I change it up every time, but the below is one of my favourites.

Do note, this takes a while and should not be made in haste. Take your time, enjoy the process… And enjoy the results!

Plaited pesto, bacon and cheese bread


For the dough:

  • 250ml milk
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 10g instant dry yeast
  • 485g flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs

For the filling:

  • 200g bacon
  • 100g cheddar cheese
  • 150g pesto – homemade or store-bought (my current favourite is the woollies sun-dried tomato pesto)
  • handful of thyme
  • 1 egg
  • sesame seeds, to sprinkle


For the dough*:

Place 125ml of milk in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat off. Add the caster sugar and butter, stir until the butter has melted. Add the remaining 125ml milk and wait for 5 minutes. Add in the yeast, stir and leave for 5 minutes or until foamy.

Mix the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the eggs and yeast mixture. Beat in an electric mixer, or by hand, for about 5 minutes or until the dough comes together – the consistency will be sticky, but should hold together.  Put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap, then wrap with a damp tea towel and put in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

*Side-note: I know this dough recipe is a little more extra work than most bread dough recipes, but it is the best recipe I have tried – and it hasn’t let me down yet! The dough recipe is from a Donna Hay magazine.

For the filling:

While the dough is rising, prepare the filling elements. Dice the bacon and fry until nice and crispy, then place in a bowl and set aside. Grate the cheese, set aside.

When the dough has risen, flour a surface and roll out the dough with a rolling pin to 2mm thin. You want to roll it out in a rectangle shape. Once rolled out, spread the pesto across the dough, then sprinkle the cheese, bacon and thyme leaves.

Using a knife, cut the dough length-ways in half (so you will have two long rectangles), and roll each half (length-ways) like you would a Swiss roll, so you will end up with two long logs.

Carefully plait the two logs, then twirl the plait into a circle. Place this in a baking dish, cover and put in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Beat the egg and brush the dough all over. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over and place in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes. The bread should be beautifully golden brown all over when ready.

Serve with butter for total perfection.

Tip: You can fill this bread with whatever you fancy! Adding chopped nuts gives the bread a nice crunchy element, you can also add raisins, try different herbs and I definitely recommend trying various pestos – the possibilities are endless!

Rudi-RatingThe Rudi-Rating (RR): This recipe has received a whopping 10/10 from hubby! I can safely say that everyone I have served this bread to, has thoroughly enjoyed it – there’s never leftovers. Tried and trusted!

Download the PDF for the this recipe here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post – please let me know if you make this recipe and how you find it. Happy baking!

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  1. I got lazy…and bought gewone dough from Spar bakery. Rolled it with parmesan and a coriander and chilli pesto. Oh yum!

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