Happy New Years Day everyone!

I’m up early, drinking coffee and contemplating my New Year’s Resolutions.  This is usually a Groundhog Day kinda exercise for me, as my resolutions rarely change, so I decided to peruse the Internet for a bit of inspiration this morning.  And I’m officially inspired…

Father James Martin’s brilliant New Years Resolutions for Absolutely Everyone rocks – My personal favorite of the well-known Jesuit: #9 – Help someone who is really needy. A homeless person. A poor person. A refugee. A sick person. A grieving person. It’s not hard to figure out how to do it. And if you don’t know anyone like that, write a check. That’s not so hard either. Helping doesn’t require an advanced degree.  Amen Padre.

From Brooke Seward’s awesome World of Wanderlust blog… I loved 12 Resolutions to be More Adventurous in the New Year  – Especially #3. Go somewhere new every weekend.  Brooke says:  Exploring where you live can be just as exciting as going to somewhere on the other side of the world – you can’t tell me you’ve tried every single restaurant in town, been to every attraction within a 100 kms radius and have nothing left to do! There’s always plenty to explore nearby. True story.  On it.

I love this 26 Tiny Things You Need to Start Doing for Yourself Right Now, particularly #21. Take a workout class you feel completely ridiculous signing up for. Try hip hop, zumba, or kickboxing. If you can’t get a friend to do it with you, just be brave and go alone.  Here I come SoulCycle.

I’m forever searching for great books to read, and will be consulting this list of adult books, this list of Children’s Books, this list of cookbooks, and this list of inspirational books.  Obviously I’ll be sleeping less.

If I have any time left over after all that resolving, I’d also like to up my cooking and blogging game.

This crazy amazing pull-apart bread recipe seems like a great place to start.  My dear friend Fiona gave me her copy of the December/January Donna Hay magazine before she headed to Australia to celebrate the holidays with her family.  This gorgeous issue featured a dozen recipes I couldn’t wait to try, including a version of this super-fun bread.  Really, who wouldn’t love savory oozy cheesy bread served up cinnamon roll style?

I’ve made it three times over the holidays, varying it slightly each time.  No one seemed to mind.  This, my friends, is the hands-down winner.  A wintery pesto of sage, walnuts and parsley layered with a generous portion of provolone cheese rolled into a light yeast bread and popped into the oven.  I brought it to a New Year’s Eve party yesterday as an appetizer (where it disappeared) but it can certainly be served as a bread with a meal.

Off I go to tackle some resolutions… Happy 2016 all!


One Year Ago: Spaghetti Bolognese

Two Years Ago: Beet, Tangerine and Blood Orange Salad with Goat Cheese, Pomegranate Seeds and Pistachios

Pull Apart Bread with Sage Walnut Pesto and Fontina Cheese
The dough is adapted from a recipe in the Dec/Jan 2016 Donna Hay Magazine, the pesto is adapted slightly from the Not Without Salt blog,
Serves: 15 rolls
  • The dough:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 2 eggs
  • The Sage Walnut Pesto
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup mint
  • 1 cup sage, packed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup walnuts, toasted
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 cups provolone cheese
  1. Place half the milk in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, add the butter and sugar and stir until the butter has melted. Add the remaining milk and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the yeast, stir to combine and set aside for 5 minutes or until the surface is foamy.
  2. Place the flour, salt, eggs and yeast mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attached and beat for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. While the dough is rising, make the pesto by combining the herbs, garlic, walnuts, parmesan cheese, black pepper and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and pulsing until a smooth paste is formed. Set aside.
  4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to roughly a 15 inch x 22 inch rectangle (the dough should be about a half-inch thick.)
  5. Spread the dough with the sage pesto and top evenly with the provolone cheese.
  6. Beginning at the long end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly toward you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together.
  7. Transfer to a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, make 1½-inch slices.
  8. Line an iron skillet or casserole with parchment paper, and arrange the rounds in circles. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  10. Remove the plastic wrap, brush with a bit of olive oil and cook for 20–22 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

I’ve decided to share this post with the lovely crew at Lavender and Lovage and Hedgecombers for Teatime Treats!

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16 Responses to "Pull Apart Bread with Sage Walnut Pesto and Provolone Cheese"
  1. Ginger says:

    I love pull-apart bread and this one’s definitely for pulling!! Happe New Year to you and to yours!

  2. Judi Graber says:

    Pull apart breads are always fun to make and eat of course! Happy Fiesta Friday 🙂

  3. Patty Nguyen says:

    Ooh, so many favorite flavors in one bread. I’d be pulling this bread out of other people’s hands. Haha! 😉

  4. Molly says:

    Wow! I am drooling! This is such a fun recipe and looks absolutely delicious. And you’ve totally inspired me to make a list – love helping someone needy and being more adventurous. I will be adding those to my list? Thanks for sharing these resolutions and a tasty recipe.

  5. Mollie says:

    I have seen little recipes for something like this using canned biscuit dough, but the snob in my has always turned up my nose at them – but this looks amazing and readily sparks all the cooking masochist in me, haha! And then, of course, I know I’d be rewarded at the end with all the oohs and ahs and happy little food sounds from everyone!

    Yes, I have to try this recipe. And I love your resolutions, too! Especially the first quote!

    Thanks for bringing this to Fiesta Friday and have a very happy New Year! I’ll be pinning to our FF board just in case no one else has yet! 🙂

  6. Hilda says:

    I can see that all kinds of fillings would be good in this bread, but love your idea of using pesto with sage, mint and parsley. I think my resolution will be to make this.

  7. Sandhya says:

    I love pull apart breads and yours looks scrumptious and so pretty!

  8. tentimestea says:

    This is lovely, from the very, very good (achievable and also useful and meaningful) resolutions you’ve highlighted, to the absolutely gorgeous pull apart bread. The herbs you chose sound delicious, and I can only imagine how deliciously sage-y it must be with a full cup of sage leaves. Happy New Year to you!

  9. Julianna says:

    Oh Yum, you have inspired me yet again, MB! I have been wanting to make a pull-apart bread, and now I am just going to have to get at it! This looks just amazing! 😀

  10. I love pull apart breads. This one looks absolutely amazing!

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