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Pesto Rolls and Musings

The third recipe I baked out of the Art and Soul of Baking was for pesto rolls. (my second recipe was for the pizza dough. I’ll write about pizza some other time) The first time, I made the bread rolls as directed;rolls about the size of  hamburger buns. I used them to make a grilled chicken breast with basil and mustard sandwich, a traditional veggie burger, and to make sandwiches with roasted bell peppers and zucchini. I thought they were delicious and made everything taste better. But, it may be simply because I really really like basil.

I don’t have much experience baking bread, but I have the feeling this recipe isn’t too out of the ordinary. The special addition is a no nut pesto sauce (just basil, oil, garlic, cheese) added to the yeast and water mixture before adding all the flour to form the dough.

The second time I made the recipe, I decided I would try shaping the rolls differently. I wanted to make a long sandwich roll. I also thought I might try taking pictures throughout the process. My husband has been trying to encourage me to do this. But, I’ve had some hesitations. One reason being that I’m not always providing recipes with my posts (especially if its not my recipe to give away) …and well…it seems pointless to photograph all the steps, with no recipe. But….here is my attempt. And some of the musing that came from the experience.

Musing # 1. Prepare and lay out all your ingredients before you start.

That sounds smart! And, I think I’ve heard/ read that advice more than once……but….I apparently need a little more practice and discipline in this area. Look closely.

Warm water- check, Basil – check, Parmesan- check, Lens cap – check ……wait a minute…..lets try that again

Mixing bowl -check, Garlic- check, Yeast – check,…….hmmmmm……..why does it feel like I’m forgetting something important?

FLOUR! where’s the flour? forgotten.

How do you forget about flour when you’re trying to make bread? Simple. Pick up your camera!

musing # 2. Taking photographs while you’re baking is distracting.

It’s a pain in the butt…….Or at the very least, it takes some getting used to. So, next time you visit a website that has kindly provided you with a photo of each step in the baking or cooking process….be sure and appreciate it. It’s not as easy as it looks.

musing # 3. Uncooked food ain’t all that attractive.

Yummy? No?
Well, at least it looks a little more appetizing than play dough. right?

Oh but wait……what if we rub oil all over it? Is that more attractive? No? hmmm……

How about an hour later, doubled in size, in the evenings last moments of sun light?

Taking relatively attractive and appetizing photos of uncooked food, also not so easy. So….lets all take a moment to appreciate all those bloggers out there who manage to make the process looks sorta beautiful. Because in all honesty, it took a long time before I was able to get these mediocre looking shots….I definitely took some really creepy ones  along the way.

musing #4 Maybe I should learn more about photography this summer, in addition to baking.

Pesto roll recipe the second time. With terrible lighting 🙂


One comment on “Pesto Rolls and Musings

  1. The step by step photos are lovely! I have always wondered how people manage to do them and actually cook…And, if these were by chance the very pesto rolls that I had this morning for breakfast (with avocado on top!), I can attest to their deliciousness!

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