Whole Wheat Pull Apart Bread with an Indian Style Pesto spread

A flavoursome Whole Wheat Bread with an Indian Style Pesto Spread

Whole Wheat Pull Apart Bread with an Indian Style Pesto spread

Whole Wheat Pull Apart Bread with an Indian Style Pesto spread

Admist cooking and photographing all the dishes for the blog, somewhere the bread baker in me got completely sidelined and I knew I had to bring her back to whip up something delicious & healthy too.

An eternal Bread Lover that I am, I was itching to bake since a long time but with a crazy schedule at home and classes, I hardly had any time. So one afternoon, I just decided that I wanted to bake a bread using the green garlic that was lying in the refrigerator and had to be used. I prefer baking breads in the afternoons when there is total silence. With the Big Bang Theory on the background, I was kneading the whole wheat flour dough with such deep satisfaction coupled with bouts of laughter listening to Sheldon’s quirky moments.  At times, I listen to music too while baking, but when I really want to relax, Big Bang Theory is my go-to option!

Coming back to the bread, at first, I had decided to make buns since I didn’t have them on the blog. So, while the dough was proving, I decided to make a stuffing. So, I thought let me do a mixed veggies stuffing with some garlic but then if you go through the pull apart pizza bread recipe on the blog, it had already covered a variety of veggies with the sauce and I wanted something simple so thought of using some flavourful herbs from the refrigerator and ditched the idea of buns. I randomly kept adding all the ingredients, never planned the recipe in the first place but then was absolutely delighted to see the final outcome. Normally, pesto is made with the inclusion of pine nuts but I have avoided nuts here as I wanted it to be light and thus included the seeds. Adding of the seeds was to up the health quotient, also, these are ways to feed my husband flax seeds which he otherwise doesn’t like consuming. Also thought of adding one of my favourite ingredients, the Black sesame seeds at the last minute since I adore its nutty taste and love the fact that when it gets toasted while baking in the oven, the taste is spectacular.

WWF Pesto 2.jpg

Life is all about learning and improvising and so, I wanted the bread this time to be whole wheat based instead of  APF. Narayan is allergic to APF so I try to bake whole wheat at home. Also, this is the very first time I have added / used the Himalayan Pink Salt in my bread. I absolutely loved the flavor and have been using it since then in my regular cooking as well. It tastes lovely with Buttermilk, by the way. Do Try!

I made a very small batch of the bread as I wanted to serve them for breakfast the next day. I strictly avoid carbs and especially breads, post sunset. It has helped me losing some weight so happy with the results.

As they rightly say, the proof lies in the eating the pudding, so if you have read my earlier post on the Gajar Ka Halwa, you might be aware that we had friends who had participated in the Mumbai Marathon earlier this month and had come over for dinner at our place. I had the opportunity to serve them these breads as well, for tasting and they simply loved the fact that it was whole wheat based and found it soft with great bursts of flavor. Small words of appreciation like these, give me all the energy to cook and blog! This is and will always remain my passion – Cooking, Baking and now Blogging!

WWF Pesto 3.jpg

Do try this recipe (step by step pics included) and I am sure you will fall in love with that lovely Indian style pesto spread which you can incorporate in other breads as well, I surely will do that – hopefully in my next bake!

If you are keen to try out my other bread recipes, please click on the below links:-

Homemade Pavs (Eggless)


Recipe for Whole Wheat Pull Apart Bread with an Indian Style Pesto spread

Preparation Time – 15 minutes (Including time taken to make the pesto spread)

Proofing and Baking – 2 hours 

Ingredients for the Bread (for 10 rolls as shown in pic)

  1. Whole Wheat Flour – 1 cup
  2. ½ tsp instant dry yeast
  3. ½ tsp sugar
  4. ½ tsp salt
  5. Softened Butter – 1 tblsp & ¼ tsp for greasing the baking tin & ¼ tsp for brushing / glaze post baking
  6. Lukewarm water – ¼ cup

Ingredients for the Indian Style Pesto Spread

  1. ¼ cup of coriander leaves roughly chopped
  2. ¼ cup of mint leaves roughly chopped
  3. ¼ cup of green garlic (pods + green) roughly chopped
  4. Olive Oil – 1 tblsp
  5. Himalayan Pink Salt – ½ tsp
  6. Flax seeds – 1 tblsp
  7. Black Sesame seeds – 1 tsp

Method for making the Indian Style Pesto Spread

  1. In a chutney grinder, add the coriander leaves, mint leaves and the green garlic.
  2. Add olive oil and salt. Now blitz this until it forms a paste.
  3. Do not add water, the oil will ensure the chutney like consistency.
  4. Add the flax seeds and black sesame seeds, mix well (NO GRINDING) and remove the contents in a bowl and keep aside until the bread is proved and ready to be rolled.
  5. You can make the mixture the previous day and store it in the refrigerator. However, I prefer grinding it fresh and using it immediately.

Method for Making the Bread –

  1. Step 1 – In case you don’t have instant yeast, take active dry yeast of the same qty & proof it. Once yeast blooms, add the mixture to the flour. PS – I prefer using instant yeast in all my bakes.
  2. Step 2 – Grease a big bowl enough to hold a risen dough with few drops of oil or butter.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the flour, add salt, yeast (incase instant yeast), sugar & knead the dough using lukewarm water. Always add the water slowly and ensure the dough doesn’t get too sticky. Never add the entire quantity of water while kneading.
  4. Now place the dough on the kitchen platform or a board. Incorporate 1 tblsp of melted butter & knead the dough for roughly 7-10 mins. In case of whole wheat flour, it is advised to knead a bit more so that there is good aeration and the bread doesn’t turn dense.
  5. During the 10 mins of kneading, keep incorporating the butter slowly. The dough should be very soft to touch after kneading.
  6. Now carefully place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl / container for proofing (Step 2) in a warm place (NOT in a warm oven) Ensure you cover the dough either with a damp cloth (not wet) or keep the dough in a container with lid.
  7. The proofing takes about 1 hour depending on weather conditions. The dough should be double in size.
  8. Once the dough is proved, knock off the air by punching the dough few times. Now sprinkle / dust some flour on the board / platform and knead the dough lightly for 5 mins.
  9. Dust some more flour on the surface of kitchen platform and with the help of a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle. The rolled out dough should be thick enough to hold the spread.
  10. Now, spread the pesto paste on the rolled out dough. Avoid spreading the sauce atleast ½ an inch from the edges.
  11. Now roll the dough like a thick log and then with the help of a pizza cutter or a sharp knife (not bread knife), cut the log of dough in to equal pieces. Now place the rolls on a greased tin or tray for further proofing in a warm place preferably for 20-30 mins.
  12. While cutting and to avoid the dough sticking to your knife, always dust some flour to your knife.
  13. Preheat the oven before baking for atleast 10 – 15 mins (hot oven) at 200 degrees.
  14. After the 2nd proofing, place the baking tin or tray in the hot oven for baking at 200 degrees for 15 minutes. 
  15. Once the bread is out of the oven, immediately brush butter on the top for the lovely glaze and taste. Serve warm or cool.
  16. You can grate some cheese (mozzarella or parmesan) for serving them to kids.

Please note that I have not included the kneading and the proving steps pics in this post as they have been already covered in all my previous bread recipes. You may click on the links provided in this post (above) and you will find it. 

Recipe Notes –

  • Water used for proofing and kneading the dough should be lukewarm and not hot. Hot water kills the yeast.
  • Kneading makes the dough soft and ensures proper mixing of all ingredients in turn leading to softer bread. So ensure you knead the dough for a good 10 mins.
  • If for some reason, you feel that the bread is too sticky to knead, or you have accidently added excess water, then use extra softened butter, incorporate it slowly into the dough and knead lightly. Never add extra flour to the dough.
  • Point No. 7 (refer to bread making method) – During summers, the dough rises fast as compared to winters / monsoon so your dough might take 30-40 mins. The dough should be double in size. That’s the only indication.
  • Point No. 10 (refer to bread making method) – At the stage of rolling and spreading of of the pesto paste, you can also add some grated cheese.
  • If you want the bread to be more flavourful, add 2 tsps of garlic paste (fine paste) to the dough after the first proofing has taken place. Add the garlic paste into the proofed dough, knead the same lightly and then carry the other steps.
  • If you refer to the method of making the pesto spread – I have mentioned Himalayan Pink Salt as I love its flavor and its health benefits. However, you can add normal table salt too for the dish. Coarse Sea salt is also a good addition, in case you prefer the same.
  • I have avoided use of nuts in the spread as I wanted to keep it light and focus on the seeds. You can add pine nuts or walnuts too while grinding and before adding the seeds.
  • If you don’t like using softened butter while kneading the dough, you can use olive oil of the same quantity.

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Vidya Narayan

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Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 70 Comments

  1. What a detailed post! Even a newbie can bake these rolls and be assured of success!

    1. Thank you so much dear! That is my objective – making bread baking a great and easy experience.

  2. I like the Pesto spread and finally turned out crunchy topping 🙂👍

  3. Looks awesome, I hope to make these some day, always wanted to try them.Thanks for the share Vidya!

    1. This would be a cakewalk for you my dear.. go ahead and bake them. Thank you so much!

      1. Definitely will do, Thank you!!

  4. The name itself is verrrryyyy tempting Vidya…and such a detailed post ! Loved the write up and the recipe too ❣❣ impressive share Vidya ✌✌

    1. Thank you my dear. You are always way too kind and generous with your words. Means a lot. A big hug.

  5. Wow. Looks so awesome dear. Well explained.

  6. This looks so tasty! Love the herbs you’ve used in the filling. I’m sure the smell while baking was amazing. 🙂

    1. Yes, absolutely the aroma was unmatched! Thank you so much.

  7. Looks soo good Vidya!!!will definitely try this and I too love to use whole wheat flour than all purpose flour…Nice share 😊

  8. Wow..Looks delicious!! I like the pesto recipe, Good way to incorporate flax seeds.

    1. Glad you liked it. I loved the pesto too .. very flavourful and agree about the flax seeds. Thank you so much.

  9. Lovely share Vidya. Loved the recipe and the green garlic idea. Wanna try it asap👍🏻😊

  10. Lovely share Vidya. Loved the recipe and the green garlic idea. Wanna try it asap👍🏻😊

    1. Thank you dear Neeti! So glad to see your response on the blog. Please do try and let me know.. would await your feedback.

  11. Great idea for the pesto with Indian twist! Thanks for the inspiration! 😀

  12. Wow this is awesome Vidya!! Loving the detailed post!

  13. The bread looks amazingly delicious!The filling makes it even more special!

    1. The next time I shall bake this and get for you. I really want you to taste this. Thanks so much dear.

  14. What a beautiful looking bread! Feels like a chutney filled bun… I have been thinking of making something at home but of late, time has been so mad that I have kind of withdrawn from baking completely… It breaks me but there’s nothing much I can do… must bake something over the coming weekend, I guess, especially so tempted after seeing your gorgeous bread…

    1. Thank you so much dear Rafee.. I have seen your bakes, the cakes specially and they are so good! How I wish I could taste them someday. Do try these breads, I am sure you will love it. Hugs!

  15. Such a detailed post, had a nice time reading up😉
    Even BBT is my favorite and this reminds me I gotta bake some.
    Bread looks super delish👍👍

    1. Thank you dear, I love breads over cakes any day but I need some motivation to fill the blog with some cake recipes .. ha ha .. Else it will be all breads of all kinds!

  16. I am totally in love with this one. How I wish I could bake. May be I must try during summer. Thank you for so detailed recipe Vidya.

    1. Most welcome dear and I guarantee you, once you start making your own breads, you wont ever buy from out. Please do try. Thank you so much

  17. Loved the recipe Vidya! It is healthier right with whole wheat dough and then my absolute favorite – Chutney filling… yummmmmm. Would be perfect with my morning chai.

  18. Thats a lovely post Vidya with all the details. I need to try baking bread now.

  19. Amazing recipe share dear.. excellent details explained and loved you baked with Whole wheat flour

    1. Absolutely easy with a fairly detailed recipe. Thank you so much.

  20. A lovely post Vidhya. I follow the same thing for cooking though. I need my peace and quiet. 🙂 The bread has come out so well.

    1. Glad we share the same vibes. Happy Cooking and thank you so much for the kind words.

  21. I loved the way you write Vidya. The bread with that Indian pesto/ chutney looks awesome. Use of sesame and flax seeds is great. I’ll try it in my next bread. I have just come out of kitchen after putting my pav buns in the oven. If I would have seen your post earlier, then this bread would have been for evening breakfast 🙂

    1. Firstly, thank you for that generous compliment. Glad you love the write ups. Secondly, now you tempt me to bake a batch of pav buns .. haha.. Nothing like warm pav buns with a cup of coffee .. i bet they turned out delicious. Happy Baking dear!

  22. I am in love with this baked goodie..love the way you have used chutney pesto and made this recipe fusion. Looks so tempting!

    1. Experiments are key to survival in kitchen ha ha .. I am sure you will agree. Thank you so much.

  23. That is one delicious pesto bread!! Love that u have baked with WWF, looks yumm!!

  24. Vidya, I enjoy reading your write-ups, Loved the bread and since it a whole wheat bread, I am surely going to give it a try soon. Bookmarked it!

    1. Thanks Swati for the kind and motivating words. Believe me, for a new blogger like me, these are like fuel to the engines. ha ha .. Glad you loved the bread too.

  25. Love the Indian style pesto with the addition of seeds instead of nuts. Following your advice of keeping away from carbs after sunset. So far so good. Sometimes unavoidable especially when I go for meetings in the evening. I too love baking breads and can’t resist the aroma and taste of home baked goodies.

  26. Those pull apart looks absolutely delicious with that Indian style pesto.

  27. Thanks for the share dear Vidhya..I will try this healthy version soon!!

    1. Most welcome and do let me know your feedback. Thank you for stopping by.

  28. hi vidya..how much water do I use to proof yeast?

    1. Hi Suma, 1/4 cup of water is ok to proof the yeast for a very small batch of bread as this.

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