Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cheesy Pesto Pinwheels


Please ignore this picture for a moment.



Just try.

I want you to forget about this photogenic swirl of deliciousness for just a moment because I also did something even cooler than that yesterday. I know, it's hard to believe isn't it? And I'm not referring to the super-long run I went on or even the ferociously good tan I got laying out by the pool. Although those things were awesome, the best thing of yesterday was that I brought a new life into the world. I have witnessed the birth of some of the most amazing creatures in the world: wild yeast.

Yes, I am creating a sourdough starter. And with the proper care and love, I hope that he will grow into a large delicious mass that will aid me in the production of tangy and delicious bread, bagels, pretzels, and rolls.

All you need is flour and water. There is wild yeast in the flour that only needs to be fostered into a beautiful living culture. For about a week, you need to feed it more flour and water and watch it grow until it's ready to use. Then to maintain, you continue feeding it. I'll give you a more detailed step by step process once it's ready, but for now, these pictures will have to suffice.


Sourdough starter after 12 hours, before first feeding
Sourdough starter after 20 hours, after first feeding

Sourdough starter after 24 hours, just before second feeding
I may or may not have carried that mason jar around with me everywhere I went yesterday.

Now back to the pinwheels. They are one of the best things I've ever made. Simply amazing. Plus, I made up the entire recipe on my own. The only inspiration I had was the beautiful jar of pesto in the fridge. Paired with a juicy hunk of prime rib and some buttery broccoli, it made for one of the best meals of the century.

Cheesy Pesto Pinwheels 

2 t garlic salt
1 t dried basil
2 T sugar
2 T yeast
1 C warm water
1/4 C (1/2 stick) melted butter (but not too hot)
1/4 C oil
3 C flour
1 1/4 C shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C pesto

Mix together the garlic salt, basil, sugar, yeast, warm water, melted butter, and oil. Let sit for about five minutes.
Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well with a dough hook after each addition.
Mix with dough hook for about five to ten minutes.
Put dough in a greased bowl and cover in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in volume.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. It should be about 1 foot by 1 1/2 feet. Spread on pesto and sprinkle with cheese. Roll up the short way so that you have a long log. Slice into about 1/2 inch circles.
Place the spirals on a well buttered cookie sheet. Bake at 375ยบ for about 11 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown and the bottom is crispy.


Pinwheels waiting to be baked