I love homemade bread, but what I love even more is pesto bread. Whenever I make my oil-free dough recipe, I try to think of creative ways to use the bread and complement a meal. Last week I made Vegan White Sauce Lasagna, so I paired it with my pesto bread recipe for an added tasty side dish.
Although pesto is generally made with oil, I make two different oil-free versions. Either pesto recipe works well with this pesto bread recipe, so choose either one of my pesto recipes or any prepared pesto works well.
Even though I make my own dough and pesto and veganized it, I got this idea from Tasty, a recipe site online.
What is pesto? Pick one option or use your favorite prepared pesto.
Traditionally, pesto is a combination of fresh basil, vegan parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil that always hits the spot. My recipe, of course, is oil-free and offers two options. Plus, as sauces go, classic basil pesto is incredibly quick and easy to make and also freezes beautifully for later if you would like.
Vegan Pesto with White Beans
- Fresh basil leaves. The more, the merrier.
- Navy/cannellini beans
- Nutritional yeast
- The juice of 2 lemons
- Sea salt
Vegan Kale Cashew & Basil Pesto
- Raw cashews
- Garlic cloves
- Organic vegetable broth
- Juice of 1 lemon (2 Tablespoons)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Nutritional yeast
- Garlic salt
How to make an oil-free dough recipe
I learned early on how to make an oil-free dough, which is perfect for pesto bread. The secret to my oil-free dough is vital wheat gluten and flaxseed meal.
- Warm water (run the tap until warm)
- Dry active yeast
- Vegan raw sugar
- Whole wheat flour
- Vital wheat gluten
- Flaxseed meal
- Maple syrup
Wheat gluten is a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass, cooked before being eaten.
Flaxseed meal, on the other hand, provides protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds, for instance, contains the following:
- Calories: 37
- Protein: 1.3 grams
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Fiber: 1.9 grams
- Total fat: 3 grams
- Saturated fat: 0.3 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 0.5 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat: 2.0 grams
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 1,597 mg
- Vitamin B1: 8% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 2% of the RDI
- Folate: 2% of the RDI
- Calcium: 2% of the RDI
- Iron: 2% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 7% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
- Potassium: 2% of the RDI
Once the pesto and dough are prepared, it's time to make the pesto bread.
First, I used a non-stick 9 inch round cake pan, but any non-stick pan, round or square, can be used.
Next, roll the non-stick dough into around 1 inch balls. The dough recipe produces about 18-20 dough balls.
Then, roll each dough ball into the prepared pesto and arrange them in the pan, loosely touching each other.
Once all the dough balls are rolled in pesto, cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. As a result, the dough rises again and expands.
Additionally, I add Vegan Parmesan Cheese over the top of the pesto bread before baking or an added cheesy flavor. This, however, is optional but highly suggested.
Bake uncovered in a 350-degree oven and watch the pesto bread bake to a golden brown.
Pop the bread out of the pan and one-piece and serve on a plate, and the pieces pull apart. Or, separate the pieces and serve in a basket.
The bread, once cooked, stores well in the refrigerator and can be heated up quickly. Of course, that's if you have any leftovers.
Do you love pesto? If so, give these pesto recipes a try!
- Pesto Potato Salad
- Potatoes with Pesto
- Pesto Pasta with Mushrooms
- Vegan Pesto Pasta
- Vegetable Panini w/ Vegan Pesto & Artichoke
- Pesto Gnocchi and Vegetables
- 1 recipe oil-free dough
Vegan Pesto with White Beans (Option 1)
- 1 ½ cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves. The more the merrier.
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 15 ounces can navy/cannellini beans 1.5 cups; rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- The juice of 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
Vegan Kale Cashew & Basil Pesto (Option2)
- 3 cups fresh kale washed and roughly torn packed cups
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 2 garlic cloves or more to taste
- 1 ¼ cups organic vegetable broth
- Juice of 1 lemon 2 Tablespoons
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Make the oil-free dough recipe and roll 18-20 same sized 1-inch dough balls
- Choose a pesto recipe, or use a prepared pesto (1 -½ cup needed to roll dough)
- Regardless of the pesto chosen, combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Place pesto into a wide shallow bowl.
- Once dough balls are rolled, roll each prepared ball in pesto and put each ball into a non-stick 9 inch round cake pan (another shape pan may be used).
- The balls should be separated, as they will rise again before baking.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour to rise again.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- If using the vegan parmesan cheese, sprinkle over the entire surface of the bread (approximately ½ cup) or more if desired.
- Remove plastic wrap and place the uncovered pan in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove the entire round loaf after baking and place it on a plate and individually pull each piece from the loaf.
- Or separate the pieces and serve in a basket.
- Serve with additional pesto sauce for dipping.
What Is Pesto? Pick One Option Or Use Your Favorite Prepared Pesto.Traditionally, pesto is a combination of fresh basil, vegan parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil that always hits the spot. My recipe, of course, is oil-free and offers two options. Plus, as sauces go, classic basil pesto is incredibly quick and easy to make and also freezes beautifully for later if you would like.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂