Our mummy blogger Anneliese says: ‘My boys love bread but are not keen on sandwiches. Due to this sandwich aversion I’ve had to come up with other ideas and this is how my recipe for pesto pinwheels was born. A tasty filling, baked inside swirly bread! Not only did my three year old boy love handling the bread dough, he got to spread on the pesto and also helped to roll up the dough before it was cut into slices. I was told they looked like car wheels and my little boy thoroughly enjoyed unravelling the bread and eating it in one big strip! He ate two in one sitting and is already requesting a repeat performance.’
- 250g strong white bread flour
- ½ level tsp salt
- 7g sachet of quick action dried yeast
- 2tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
- 150ml warm water
- 1-2 tbsp of pesto
- 75g grated Cheddar cheese or 50g of grated Parmesan
After collecting your mixing bowl and weighing scales, it’s a good idea to locate all your ingredients and have them close to hand. I myself try to be organised but often end up rummaging our kitchen shelves halfway through a recipe, leaving a doughy trail behind me!
First of all weigh the strong white bread flour into your mixing bowl. Your child can then carefully measure the salt onto a teaspoon. I suggest they do this over the kitchen sink, in case they get a little carried away!
After adding the small amount of salt to the mixing bowl your helper can simply pour the entire contents of the yeast sachet in to join the flour and salt. That is the last of your dry ingredients.
Time to turn your attention to the wet ingredients. Firstly, measure the WARM water into a measuring jug. You don’t want the water to be hot, just pleasantly warm. Add the oil to the water and ask your child to give it a quick stir before pouring into the mixing bowl. My little boy loved this part!
Your child can start to bring the doughy mixture together with a wooden spoon and then it’s time to get messy and very sticky!
I think most children will love sticking their hands in and turning the mixture into a smooth ball of dough. If your child isn’t sure to start with, why not give them a hand? They will no doubt be happy to explore the dough once it is smooth and ready to start kneading.
Place your ball of dough onto a floured worktop and get to work! You will need to stretch and pummel the dough for 8-10 minutes. I took it in shifts with my three year old, which made it easier all round. I promise you that your child will love poking the dough. It is kind of like play dough after all!
Now you can move straight on to shaping your dough into a square, approximately 30×30 cm, with the help of your rolling pin. Again, this is a perfect job for small children. However, you will need to assist if your child is very small. Bread dough can be a bit tricky to roll out as it has a habit of springing back!
It’s time to grab your jar of pesto and carefully spread the pesto over the dough. Perhaps your little one can do this while you grate the cheese into a bowl.
The cheese can now be easily sprinkled over the top of the pesto.
That’s all the ingredients used up, so it’s time to move on to the rolling up. Tuck in the edge of the dough closest to you and continue to roll it away from you, quite tightly. My little boy really enjoyed helping to do this. We had one end each and worked as a team!
When it comes to the slicing you will need a fairly sharp knife, so best for you to take over for this part. Cut into thick slices. You should be able to make 8-10 slices but it depends how thick you make each pinwheel.
Place each pesto pinwheel onto a lined baking tray and cover with a clean tea towel. Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 7.
The pinwheels are only allowed a rather short proving time of approximately half an hour, so place them close to the oven as it preheats so that they get a good rise.
After 30 mins your pinwheels should have puffed up nicely and are ready for the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the dough is nicely browned.
Leave to cool on a wire rack if you can resist. However, if a bout of indigestion doesn’t faze you, dig straight in!