Cheesy Pesto Bread

Cheesy Pesto Bread

This is one of my absolute favourites, cheesy pesto bread and it’s so easy! A soft, pull-apart bread coated in pesto and cheddar cheese. Is there anything better than the smell of freshly baked bread straight from the oven?

This recipe uses some of my homemade pesto which I make every year from the abundance of basil in the garden, but don’t worry shop bought pesto works just as well.

The great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t need two rising times. You simply shape it and let it rise directly in the pan prior to baking.

Can I make these without a stand mixer? – A stand mixer will make the process much easier and quicker, but you can do it by hand and get the same perfect delicious results. It will take around 10 minutes to knead by hand.

Cheese and pesto are the predominant flavours of this bread but feel free to adjust the recipe as you desire. Check out my variations section for ideas.

If you decide to give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment below and rate it – it’s really helpful to me and the other readers. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #thegourmetlarder on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with! 🙂


  • Ease: easy, the hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise. Plan ahead for this!
  • Diets: for ideas on sugar and dairy-free, check my substitutions section for details.
  • Great for: lunch or dinner, picnics, weekend baking, friends and family visiting.
  • Taste and texture: a soft, pillowy pull-apart bread coated in pesto and cheddar cheese.
  • Serving: great as a side dish, with soup or especially with your favourite Italian food.
  • Quantity: 16 small buns
  • Time: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour 30 minutes proving time.

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    For this recipe all you need are these ingredients:

    • Strong white bread flour or all-purpose (BL80) – is made from hard, high-protein varieties of wheat, which have a higher gluten content than other flours. Gluten is the substance that makes the dough more elastic and stretchable, giving the final baked product its fluffiness and lightness.
    • Caster or granulated white sugar – provides food for the yeast to activate.
    • Yeast – ferments the sugars in the flour and releases carbon dioxide, but because the dough is elastic and stretchable the carbon dioxide cannot escape, causing the dough to rise.

    Using fresh or dried yeast, click here for further guidance!

    • Whole milk – another essential ingredient for creating that soft and fluffy texture we recognise in an enriched dough.
    • Egg – another vital ingredient to an enriched dough, helping to build structure and flavour.
    • Butter – a key ingredient to an enriched dough, giving it that rich butter flavour.
    • Pesto – gives a beautiful mix of flavours, fresh basil, olive oil, cheese, pine nuts and garlic.
    • Cheddar cheese – is great for adding an intense cheesy taste to the bread.

    TIP: I highly recommend adding salt to your doughs. Salt helps balance out the flavours and elevates the other ingredients, bring out the best characteristics of any bread.


    I haven’t tried any of these substitutions, but they should work for this recipe, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.


    • Brown sugar suggestions: Pure Via Baker’s soft brown sugar or Sukrin Gold’s natural brown sugar alternative.


    • Dairy-free option: the butter and milk can be replaced with vegan versions; the egg can be omitted but a little extra non-dairy milk or yoghurt (approx. 30-40 ml) will be needed to replace it.


    This recipe is very versatile and you can add your favourite ingredients to get different tastes. For example, try sundried tomato pesto or garlic puree instead of the basil pesto.

    If you experiment, I would love to know how you get on and share it with the other readers.


    Serving: one ball

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.



    This bread is great served straight from the oven or any leftovers will keep for a day.

    Freezing: This bread can be frozen for up to 1 month once baked, although it will not taste as good as when it’s freshly made. Once completely cooled down, tightly wrap in a layer of cling film. To reheat, simply defrost at room temperature, or in the fridge, overnight. Reheat in a low oven for about 5 minutes.

    © THE GOURMET LARDER. All images and content are copyright protected. Do not use my images without prior permission. Further information can be found in my FAQ’s.


    Here is some kitchen equipment that I use and recommend for this recipe.

    TIP: If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because you’re using inaccurate measurements. I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital scale, rather than cup measurements for example. You will find it much easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results weighing your ingredients. 🙂


    • Avoid over-heating the milk for the yeast – you should be able to comfortably put your finger in it and hold it there around 37°C / 98°F, if it’s too hot it will kill the yeast.
    • The dough should be sticky – don’t try to add more flour to eliminate the stickiness. You should only add more flour if the dough is wet. Only one tablespoon at a time until the dough turns from wet to sticky.
    • Type of baking pan – if you don’t have a baking pan like I used, you can use a springform pan or a loaf tin. I prefer to use a solid bottomed pan as it keeps all the butter in.



    Cheesy Pesto Bread

    Preparation:10 minutes
    Baking:20 minutes
    Resting:1 hour 30 minutes
    Total:2 hours
    Servings: 16
    Tools you’ll need:
    • 23cm baking pan
    This summer I have made a lot of pesto using basil from the garden and this cheesy pesto bread is a great way to use some of it. An easy to make, delicious brioche dough with butter, pesto and cheese layers.


    • 350 g white bread flour (BL80)
    • 20 g caster sugar (or granulated)
    • 1 tsp fine sea salt
    • 20 g fresh yeast (6 g dried yeast)
    • 225 ml milk
    • 1 medium egg (55g)
    • 50 g butter (plus, extra for greasing)


    • 50 g butter
    • 3 tbsp pesto
    • 100 g cheddar cheese
    • 50 g grated mozzarella (optional)


    • Grease a 9 inch (23cm) bundt pan.
    • Yeast: If you're using dried yeast, see step 3. For fresh yeast heat the milk gently in a small saucepan, until it reaches body temperature of 37°C / 98°F. You should be able to comfortably put your finger in it and hold it there. (If it's too hot it will kill the yeast.) Remove from the heat and stir in the yeast. Set aside until needed.
    • Bread dough: In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, salt and sugar. If you are using dried yeast add the yeast to one side and the sugar and salt to the other.
    • Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk, add the egg and the butter cut into small pieces, then mix with a spoon or on a slow speed for 2–3 minutes, until combined.
    • Continue through the sticky stage, until the dough is completely smooth, silky and elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Form a round ball inside the bowl and then cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about 15 minutes.
    • Shaping: Lightly flour a work surface and tip out the dough onto it. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and then divide each piece in half and then in half again so you end up with 16 pieces in total. Roll each piece into ball.
    • Cheese coating: melt the butter in a small pan and then place it in a small bowl with the pesto, giving it a good stir.
    • In another small bowl add the cheddar cheese and mozzarella. Dip each ball of dough into the butter mixture and then coat with the cheese mixture.
    • Place balls of dough in the prepared pan. Once all the balls are placed in the pan cover with any remaining butter and cheese left over.
    • Cover the pan with cling film and let the dough rise for about an hour until it has doubled in size.
    • Baking: preheat oven to 180°C fan / 400°F / Gas 6.
    • Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown on top.
    KEYWORDS cheddar cheese, pesto, pesto bread



    If you tried this Cheesy Pesto Bread or any other recipe on my website, please let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Also, please leave a star rating whilst you’re there!

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