Braided Pesto Bread

An easy and flavorful savory bread, featuring thick streaks of basil pesto sauce throughout.

Braided Pesto Bread Recipe from

So, I bit the bullet. I finally caved and pre-ordered both Frozen and Catching Fire. I figured, if I was going to drive to the store to get both anyway, why not just have them delivered. Right? If it weren’t for Prime shipping then I probably would have just gone to the store. But now I’ll be stalking the driveway waiting for that pretty brown truck to pull up. My luck, they’ll be late those days. Does anyone else get happy to see that truck? It’s like Christmas, only we know what’s arriving, or at least most of the time.

Tell me, have you seen either or both of the movies? If not, please do. They’re both seriously so good.

Also, an update on the doll situation. I got the Kristoff doll for lil man, in hopes they could each play with a character and not fight over them. Only, I’m positive the fights will still happen, it’s only a matter of time. But here’s the thing, I’m shocking myself, not literally of course. I still haven’t given them the dolls. They’re safely hidden in a box way out of their reach and almost out of mine. Out of sight out of mind! We’ll see how long that keeps working.

Braided Pesto Bread Recipe from

Now moving on to something totally delicious that you absolutely need to make immediately. No, really. This bread. This amazing bread.

A little back story. My oldest, she kind of follows my childhood footsteps in the sense that she is super particular about what she’ll eat, and thus what she won’t. When I was making this bread, she wanted nothing to do with it, even to the point of ewwwing at it. I easily bribed her into trying a bite, and that’s when it happened. She wanted more! She proclaimed her love for this bread practically. So given that my most choosey eater of the house loves this bread means that you absolutely have to make it. It’s that kind of good.

A tender and flavorful bread, with a basil-pesto filling, braided into a loaf and baked to perfection. Eat it as is, slathered with butter, warm or cold. Just make it, eat it and enjoy it!

This one is a keeper.

Braided Pesto Bread Recipe from

Braided Pesto Bread

A flavorful savory bread with streaks of thick pesto throughout.
Prep Time1 hour 40 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time2 hours 20 minutes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10



  • 1 1/4 C water
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese


  • 2 C packed fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 C Parmesan
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil


  • Heat water to 115°F. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Allow yeast to proof.
  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with dough attachment, add flour and salt. With mixer running on low, slowly add yeast mixture. Increase speed to medium high, mixing until dough comes together in a clean ball. Shape dough into a smooth ball, transfer to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover and allow to rise for one hour or doubled in size.
  • Meanwhile, prepare pesto sauce in a food processor. Blend together basil and garlic. Add cheese, blending quickly. With lid on and food processor running on low, slowly drizzle in olive oil.
  • Roll out dough on a silicone counter mat into a 10 x 20-inch rectangle. Spread pesto sauce out to 1/2-inch from edges. Starting at one of the shorter sides, tightly roll up dough, pinching edges as you go. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice completely through dough, end to end. Braid dough. Carefully transfer to a lightly greased 10-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Lightly cover and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190°F.
  • Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.


Recipe serves roughly 10, yields 1: 10-inch loaf.
Troubleshooting dough tips: If dough is too sticky, add a spoonful more flour until ball forms. If dough is too dry, add a spoonful of olive oil at a time until a ball forms.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

Braided Pesto Bread Recipe from

More recipes to try:
Pesto chicken lasagna rolls
Bacon-basil pesto and chicken pizza
Whole wheat buffalo chicken pizza
Whole wheat pizza dough
Amish potato rolls
Cheesy garlic pizza bread sticks
Garlic and herb pull apart bread
English muffin bread

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132 Responses to “Braided Pesto Bread”

  1. #
    Rachel — March 20, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    if I don’t have the white wheat flour can I use the entire recipe all purpose

    • #
      Rachel — March 22, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Typically they can be swapped fairly easily for each other. Just keep an eye on the dough and add adjust the flour or liquid amounts as needed, if necessary. Enjoy!

  2. #
    Susan Johnson-Boyce — March 30, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Can the dough be prepared in a bread machine?

    • #
      Rachel — March 31, 2015 at 7:19 am

      I imagine it would work fine for the mixing and first rise.

  3. #
    Diane — April 11, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Recipe looks great!
    Can I substitute with jar pesto? If yes, how much should I use?

    • #
      Rachel — April 12, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Yes you can. It’s roughly 3/4 cup or slightly more.

  4. #
    blathnaid — June 26, 2015 at 11:13 am

    This looks amazing, I can’t wait to try it. Can I freeze the dough or leave it in the fridge if I don’t have the time to make it all in one day?

    • #
      Rachel — June 26, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      Best bet would be to chill overnight if you’re not looking to make it all in one day. Be sure to bring the dough to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.

  5. #
    Hard Core Baker — July 7, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Do you have the desire to video the instructions? I am more visual person. But I will attempt to make this delicious bread. Also, can I use gluten-free flour? Thank you for the wonderful bread recipe.

    • #
      Rachel — July 8, 2015 at 7:50 am

      Typically when substituting gluten free flour, you need to do a bit of alterations and adding some additional items in, such as xanthan gum. I’m not familiar with the specifics or amounts, since I don’t bake gluten free. Good luck!

  6. #
    Carmela — July 10, 2015 at 8:17 am

    I’d love to make your recipes .. but you Americans have the measures so different from ours: :(!

    • #
      Rachel — July 12, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      If you do a quick internet search, there are quite a few free ingredient conversion calculators! :)

  7. #
    Carmela — July 13, 2015 at 3:14 am

    ooh thanks .. I’m looking for some website conversion because I want to make this absolutely fantastic bread! My husband loves the pesto!
    Congratulations on your beautiful recipes! Carmela (Italy)

    • #
      Rachel — July 13, 2015 at 7:38 am

      I hope you enjoy it and thank you!! :)

  8. #
    Rhonda Copeland — April 3, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I dont have one of those $400 stand mixers so do you have another method?

    • #
      Rachel — April 3, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      You would simply need to mix by hand. It will take a bit of elbow grease, as with any homemade dough mixed by hand, but will be well worth any effort! :)

  9. #
    Addie — June 28, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    The bread looks great Rachel!!! I’m a beginner at baking bread, so do I need to knead the dough for this recipe? Also, how long should I proof the yeast?

    • #
      Rachel — June 30, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      There is no need to knead the dough by hand. Proof for 5-10 minutes or until the yeast mixture at the top has puffed up quite a bit. Good luck!

  10. #
    Indrika — October 6, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Goodness. What a great recipe. Made it last night and it was SO good. I dough was a little wet and hence hard to work with so I was worried but it was beautiful and delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — October 9, 2017 at 9:26 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  11. #
    Kristen — November 21, 2018 at 12:09 am

    From the directions, it seems that the bread is cut into two strips and then twisted together. Is that correct? It says braid, but doesn’t a braid require three pieces. I’m a total visual learner with things like this and I just can’t picture how to do this!

    • #
      Rachel — November 21, 2018 at 7:42 am

      The motion of twisting would be a bit different from what is done in this process. When moving the sections of bread as if you’re braiding, the layers are not rolled and flipped quite as much as if you were simply twisting.

  12. #
    Cathy — April 28, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Made this and was delicious, can you suggest other ingredients to use instead of pesto for a different twist on this recipe?

    • #
      Rachel — May 8, 2019 at 6:30 am

      The skies the limit on that. Fruit or chocolate spreads would be a lovely change.

  13. #
    Mary Ann Shiner — August 24, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Can this basil pesto bread be frozen?

    • #
      Rachel — August 29, 2020 at 8:51 pm

      I haven’t personally frozen it, but it should freeze fine. Be sure to wrap well to prevent freezer burn.

  14. #
    swati jha — August 27, 2020 at 7:50 am

    hey Rachel
    can i use only whole wheat flour? loved this recipe, cant wait to bake it


    • #
      Rachel — August 29, 2020 at 8:50 pm

      You may need to cut back on the flour slightly if you choose a different flour. Add a little bit at a time until the dough comes together.

  15. #
    Gluten free girl — December 16, 2020 at 4:55 am

    I wonder if this recipe can work with gluten free flour. I have celiac so I wonder

    • #
      Rachel — December 19, 2020 at 10:51 am

      Absolutely! A 1:1 gluten free flour should work well.

  16. #
    Kyra Kaufman — February 15, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    I made this tonight!

  17. #
    Laura — May 30, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Thank you! What a great recipe. We enjoyed it with an over-easy egg on top of a slice. It’s the first recipe of yours we have tried- looking forward to enjoying many more!

    • #
      Rachel — May 31, 2021 at 9:22 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing, Laura! :)

  18. #
    Kathryn — July 5, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    This looks delicious! What kind of adjustments would I have to make if I use bread flour instead of all purpose?

    • #
      Rachel — July 7, 2021 at 8:16 am

      You may need to add extra liquid to the batter if you substitute flours, but otherwise it should work. If you’re familiar with dough consistencies for bread, just eye it and adjust accordingly.

  19. #
    Mel — January 6, 2022 at 1:28 am

    Hi there

    Do you ever do a prove after you braid the bread. Like in the pan your going to bake it in, place the braided dough and let it rise. Just wondering if the one prove is enough!

    • #
      Rachel — January 18, 2022 at 8:37 am

      The dough rises for at least one hour to start and an additional 30 minutes once braided and in the pan.

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