Pesto whole wheat wreath bread

Pesto , at last !

Store-bought though ....

No way will I successfully grow my own herbs #Black thumb , for sure ! pffffffttttt

Hey ! That pesto tastes really great !

I played around with the recipe that I've seen from Christine's recipes' blog ......

This bread is a spin from her Tangzhong whole wheat bread  ....

What is Tangzhong method ? According to Christine's blog , Tangzhong is actually a flour paste ( water roux starter ) , cooked 1 part of bread flour and 5 parts of water to 65°C . It's originated in Japan and described as the secret ingredient to make soft and bouncy bread just like most Japanese bread .

This Tangzhong is very easy to make , so no excuses in not making it ! lol

I made this bread twice already .... Not for comparison , mind you tsk ! All the photos that I've taken from my first bake are all blurry ! ugh !

But it's no hardship making this deliciously moreish bread again .....

So , its really soft and bouncy ?!

My photos cannot express heh ! how super soft and bouncy this bread is , seriously ! ^__^

For those who wants to try this recipe , if you're using the bread machine , please check how-to at this site  ....

The dough of this bread is sticky but try not to add flour ( even a dusting ) as you knead the dough , just rub your hands together to dislodge some of the dough that will stick to your hands back to the dough that you're kneading and just continue to knead until dough is soft and elastic ; by the time you finish kneading the dough , it will still a bit slightly tacky to the touch and that's normal .....

* To make tangzhong , you'll need 1/3 cup/ 50 grams bread flour and 1 cup of water . In a small saucepan , put the flour in and pour in the water bit by bit while stirring it with a whisk or a spoon until all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture is smooth and lump-free . Turn on the heat , medium low and continue stirring until the mixture becomes thicker and thicker , you'll have the tangzhong if you can see the lines all over the surface of the mixture while you're stirring it or you can use a thermometer , it should be 65°C/149°F . Transfer to a container or a bowl , cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent mixture from drying up . Let cool to room temperature before using . Yield :  about 230 grams or so of tangzhong .


For the bread dough :

200 grams bread flour
150 grams wholemeal / whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
40 grams sugar
2 tsp instant dry yeast
40 grams butter , softened
100 grams tangzhong
45 grams whisked egg
110 grams lukewarm milk
some pesto for filling

* Sift both flours and salt in a large bowl , tipping in the remaining whole wheat flour that doesn't pass thru the sieve into the mixture . Add the sugar and the yeast  , stir until combine . Rub in the butter then add in the tangzhong , mix to combine .  Make a well in the center , add in the whisked egg and milk ; mixing in to form a soft dough .

* Turn the mixture into a clean surface , knead the dough for about 6 to 8 minutes until dough is soft and elastic . Form dough into a ball and transfer into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap . Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour and 15 minutes ( depending on how warm your kitchen )  .

* Knock back the dough in a clean surface , kneading to deflate the dough and roll into a 18 by 12 inches rectangle , spread some pesto on top and roll it up into a tight loaf . Cut in half , seal the top and loop or braid together and seal the ends , twisting to form a wreath  . Place the dough into a lightly oiled pan , cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size .

* Meanwhile , preheat oven at 180°F/350°C . Lightly brush the surface with some egg wash and bake for 30 minutes , check after 20 minutes , if it's browning too fast , tent it with a foil .

* Don't wait until it cooled down , eat it straight from the oven er take some photos first !


  1. I've never heard of this before - it's simply beautiful :))
    Mary x

  2. Hi Anne,

    Your bread looks very much like the raspberry wreath bread featured in the latest Donna Hay Magazine. Very nicely shaped and very Christmas-y!


  3. Really looks soft and fluffy! Love the addition of pesto into the bread.

  4. Hi Anne... I'm convinced. Will ask wife to try out this Tangzhong method.

    BTW, it's not difficult to make your own pesto. No need to grow your own basil, get fresh basil from the supermarket. Try it, homemade always taste better.

    1. A sprig or two of basil costs HK$20. at the supermarket here :P But yeah ! Will try to make it sometime :D

  5. Tang zhong? What is that? Is it something like the sourdough starter? the bread looks beautiful.

    1. Bal , it is a starter but more easier to make :D

  6. What a gorgeous wreath, Anne! I love that you filled it with yummy!!!

  7. so cool! i have always wondered what gives so many asian breads (for me it was south korean) that unique texture! can't wait to try to reproduce it myself...and store bought pesto is the way to go. i grow my own basil, and for the life of me can't make a pesto come out right. what is the deal!

    1. Anna , throw some of that basil over here ! I'll be the one to make pesto ! lol

  8. I love pesto very much.. been making a few batches lately. Adding pesto to bread sounds great!

  9. yum! this would be nice with some soup too. Lovely wreath bread. I've only tried tangzhong method once for my bread and the bread was incredibly soft and fluffy too, just that the last time i tried, the dough was a lil difficult for me to handle :D

    1. Lena , yup ! Really good with some soup ! Maybe I'll try another of Christine's Tangzhong bread :D

  10. Wow , did not know basil is so expensive in HK, if you stay nearby, I can give you some from my garden , hehehe ..nowadays I prefer direct method rather than tangzhong method , lazy me , hahaha ..

    1. Sonia , I wish ! lol Need to visit some Farmer's market here just in case they're selling basil in a more cheaper price :P .... I'm planning to bake more of this Tangzhong bread :D

  11. Hi Anne, the bread looks awesome....if I ever take to bread making I would give this a try for sure....I am in India right now, here for my brother's wedding, finally the traditional four day wedding and all the formal ceremonies are over and I have some breathing back to blogging :-)


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