The lanes near our house have been heavy with the heady scent of wild garlic flowers in the last few days, the warmth of the late spring sunshine increasing their intensity. We’re nearing the end of the wild garlic season, so I’ll be picking one last harvest to make up a big batch of wild garlic pesto. It freezes beautifully and will provide us with a taste of English spring for many months to come.
The pesto is delicious simply stirred through a bowlful of pasta or spread on toasted bread to create bruschetta. It’s also wonderful in this easy tear-and-share bread, a perfect accompaniment to cold meats and cheeses as part of a buffet lunch or a springtime picnic.
Wild garlic pesto tear & share bread
Makes 8 bread rolls
400g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
half a jar of wild garlic pesto – see my recipe here
Put the flour, salt and dried yeast into a large mixing bowl and combine.
Make a well in the middle and pour in the water and oil. Gradually work the flour into the liquid to form a soft dough. If it’s too dry, add a drop more water. If it’s too sticky, add some more flour.
Flour the work surface before tipping the dough onto it. Knead the dough for five to ten minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover loosely with cling film and put in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
Grease and flour a 20cm round cake tin.
Uncover the risen dough and punch it back down. Flour the surface again and divide the dough into eight equal portions.
Roll each portion of dough into a rough rectangle, approximately 20cm by 10cm. Spread each rectangle generously with wild garlic pesto and roll up carefully into a tidy spiral. Stand each spiral into the prepared cake tin, spacing them out to allow them room to spread.
Cover loosely with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave to rise again for another 45 minutes to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 or use the middle of the top oven of an Aga.
When the bread has risen again, place in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Place the tin on a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out. Lovely eaten while still warm, drizzled with a little olive oil.