The Fresh Loaf

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Pesto Tarte Soleil

Benito's picture

Pesto Tarte Soleil

I decided to bake a second loaf today on a whim to bring with us on our visit to my inlaws.  I didn’t plan ahead so an instant dry yeast leavened loaf was the only thing to do.  I had a bottle of pesto in my cupboard that has been staring at me every time I opened the cupboard so decided to do this laminated bread which I gave a fancy name even though it isn’t all that fancy to make, although it looks it.


3¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons (422 grams)

all-purpose flour, divided

1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar

1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) instant yeast

6 g salt

1 cup (240 grams) whole milk 

¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs (100 grams


Pesto - I used store bought, 212 mL.



  1. In a small pot add milk and butter.  Using medium heat, warm the milk to melt the butter.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted add the milk/butter mixture.  Once cool to warm room temperature, add eggs, salt, sugar and IDY.  Add flour and mix until there is no dry flour.  Fermentolyse for 5-10 mins.
  3. Knead using the standmixer until there is good gluten development.  Using my Ankarsrum Assistent this took about 4 mins.
  4. Transfer the dough to a damp countertop and do a letter fold, then tighten the dough into a tight ball.  Place the dough into a bowl and allow the dough to double, about 40-60 mins.
  5. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Punch down the dough.  Release the dough from the bowl to a lightly floured countertop.  Divid the dough into four approximately equal pieces.  Snape each quarter into a tight boule.  Cover and rest for 10-15 mins.
  7. Roll 1 boule into an 11” circle.  Transfer to the parchment paper lined cookie tray.  Spoon then brush about ⅓ of the pesto onto the dough circle leaving a ½” border.
  8. Repeat #7 for two more boules of dough stacking each on top of the previously pesto covered circle before adding and spreading the pesto.
  9. Roll the final boule again into an 11” circle and stack this on top as well.
  10. Preheat oven to 375°F bake.
  11. Place a 1.5” round cutter in the center of the dough circle pressing lightly to leave an impression but not cutting through the dough.
  12. Using a long knife or pizza cutter make 16 equally spaced cuts from the outside edge to the center circular impression.
  13. Twist each piece of dough in alternating directions 3 to 4 times.  Pinch adjacent pairs of twisted dough together at the ends to form points.
  14. Cover and allow to double in size about 30 to 45 mins.
  15. Just before baking, brush with egg and milk wash.  Optionally sprinkle sesame seeds in the center circle.
  16. Bake for on baking steel lowest rack.  18 mins until golden brown.   After  18 mins moved up to the middle rack to completely bake and become golden brown.
  17. Allow to cool, enjoy.

My index of bakes.



CalBeachBaker's picture


This bread looks excellent. Pesto and bread always a great taste combination. I'm sure it was a hit with your in-laws.


Benito's picture

Thank you Tony.  The bread seemed to be enjoyed by all.  We shared it last evening for my niece’s 30th birthday party.  Warmed up it was really tasty.


JonJ's picture

Gorgeous showstopper!

Basil pesto, I assume? 



Benito's picture

Yes basil pesto, you’re right I should have said what type of pesto Jon.


PalwithnoovenP's picture

Pesto is a recent discovery for me. I make it in a mortar and pestle, with pistachios (can't find pine nuts). We love it with pasta, freshly made really makes a difference. I need to try it with bread or pizza though I can't be sure if it will turn out as beautiful as yours.

Benito's picture

Yes I don’t use pesto very often, although I love making a sun dried tomato pesto.  I’m sure you could make the same type of bread Pal, it looks fancier than it really is.


foodforthought's picture

That’s a beautiful bake, Benny. Basilly, garlicky and oily…gotta be delicious!

Benito's picture

Thank you Phil, it was yummy and I would make it again.


jo_en's picture

Hi Benny,

Wow it is hard to keep up with your bakes-all so luscious!!

Braiding seems so versatile.  Have you seen the Swedish cardamom buns ? 

I think they cut and twist strips like you do.

The color on the purple potato bread made me think of berries (at first). Very inspirational and spotted with lovely hues.

Thanks for showing all your bakes!!


Benito's picture

Hi Jo

Thank you kindly for you comments, I appreciate them very much.

Yes I have seen those lovely Swedish cardamom buns, we love cardamom but have made them only the more standard cinnamon bun style rolls way.  I’ll have to try the knots at some point, they do look lovely shaped that way.

You’re right, braiding can really made a simple bread look much fancier than it really is.




Isand66's picture

Just beautiful and it must have tasted as good as it looks.



Benito's picture

Thank you Ian, everyone seemed to enjoy it.  The birthday girl took the small bit of it left at the end of the evening home with her.