This macadamia pesto bread wreath is the perfect centrepiece for Christmas. The soft, vegan brioche-style dough and easy peasy macadamia pesto are a cinch to prepare, and the wreath’s braided layers make it fun to both make and eat. The macadamias add a buttery flavour and nostalgic richness – and look a treat sprinkled on top! Recipe by Anthea, Rainbow Nourishments @rainbownourishments.
Macadamia basil pesto
- 2 cups basil leaves packed
- 1/4 cup macadamias
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or to taste
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast or to taste
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ¼ – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil as needed
- 2 ½ – 3 cups plain or bread flour start with less and add more if needed
- 1/4 cup dairy free milk warmed
- 1/2 cup vegan butter room temperature
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp instant dry yeast
- 1 tbsp dried herbs of choice e.g. dried oregano, dried basil
- Pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
- Melted vegan butter
- Whole and crushed Australian macadamias
- Cherry tomatoes
- For the pesto, toast the macadamia nuts in a dry frying pan for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Add all the ingredients, except the oil, to a food processor. Process until the mixture has broken down but some chunks of macadamias remain*. Drizzle the oil into the food processor and process until you have a thick paste. Taste the pesto and season as desired.
- For the dough, place all ingredients in a stand mixer and knead. Alternatively, mix the ingredients in a large bowl and knead on a floured surface. The dough is ready when it’s soft and stretchy. If your dough is still sticky, add more flour and knead further. If the dough is a little dry, add more milk and knead further. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover with a tea towel and place in a warm spot for at least 1-2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
- To assemble, dust a clean surface with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangle around 60 x 20 cm large. Spread the pesto on only two-thirds of the dough, close to the edges. One-third of the dough should be bare.
- Flip over the bare third of the dough to cover the middle part. Flip over the remaining third of the dough. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 3 long strips. Turn the strips so the pesto filling is facing up.
- Starting from the middle, braid the strips. Bring together the two ends of the braid to form a circular wreath shape. Cover the wreath with a tea towel. Let it rest in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until it is puffy again.
- To bake, preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake the wreath for 25-30 minutes or until the surface is evenly golden brown all over.
- To serve, brush your wreath with melted butter. Garnish with macadamias and cherry tomatoes. The wreath is best eaten on the day it is baked, either warm or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
*Tip: For a chunkier pesto, you can add the macadamias to the food processor at the same time as the oil. The macadamias add a lovely crunch to the pesto.
Calories: 229kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 162mgPotassium: 103mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 603IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg