Pesto Parmesan Star Bread combines the flavors of fresh and vibrant pesto and salty and nutty parmesan cheese to create a unique and savory bread that is perfect for an appetizer, brunch, side dish, or snack.
A soft yeast dough is shaped into the signature star shape, and it is filled with layers of pesto and grated parmesan cheese before being baked until the cheese is melted and golden brown. The result is a crispy and flaky bread with a savory and cheesy flavor that is sure to satisfy any pesto lover. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the flavors of pesto and parmesan in a fun and creative way.
There are several different options you can use when it comes to the dough for making star bread, each of which has its own fun twist on the texture and design of your final loaf. We almost always use our homemade cinnamon roll dough, but you can also use:
- Store-bought dough (you’ll need about 2 pounds)
- Crescent sheets (2 to 4 packages)
- Puff pastry dough (2 pounds)
- Pie crust circle dough (4 crust rounds)
- Melted Butter: Brush 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the top of the finished star bread.
- Cheese: Brush 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the top of the star bread before baking and top with the shredded cheese of your choice.
- Garlic: In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of melted butter with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic. Brush over the top of the star bread after baking.
One way to make this snowflake bread recipe ahead of time is to prep and then freeze it. You can either freeze the dough before baking or freeze it after you’ve baked it:
- To freeze the dough: Follow the dough recipe instructions on the recipe card below. “Punch” the dough down after it’s risen to remove any excess air. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then add a layer of aluminum foil. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months! When ready to bake, allow the dough to thaw in the fridge overnight, then follow the shaping and baking instructions as indicated.
- To freeze already-baked star bread: Allow the bread to cool completely, then place it in an airtight, freezer-safe container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through, about 5-10 minutes.
Other Flavor Options
Storage and Reheating Instructions
You can store any leftover star bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you want to get a bit more longevity out of it, you can also store it in the fridge where it will keep for one week. If you want to reheat it, you can do so in the microwave at 30-second increments until warmed through.
Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.
Pesto Parmesan Star Bread
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons salted butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
Pesto Parmesan Filling
- 1/4 cup salted butter melted
- 1 /4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs. Add in flour. Use a dough hook and turn on to a low speed.
- Once the flour starts to incorporate into the dough, increase the speed to a medium range. Add more flour as necessary so that the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough mixture should be soft and tacky, but not stick to your hands.
- Add more or less flour until the dough reaches the desired consistency. The amount of flour you add in bread making is always an approximation and you should go by feel.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
Shaping and Baking Instructions
- Take dough and divide it into 4 even pieces. Roll each piece into a large circle, roughly the width of your baking sheet.
- Lay one circle down onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread 1/3 of the pesto mixture on top in an even layer, leaving 1/4 inch around the edge of the circle
- Continue layering with the remaining pieces, but leave the 4th and final piece plain on top.
- Use a small 2-inch bowl to mark the center (or eyeball it) and then use a knife to cut 16 equal strands, leaving the small circle in the center.
- Take two of the strands and twist in opposite directions, 2-3 times, and then pinch the edges shut to seal. Continue twisting pieces together until all pieces are twisted and you have a large star shape.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg white and water together until they are well combined. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the surface of the loaf. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese.
- Bake immediately (no rising) in a 350 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes. Once cooled, serve plain, or dip in marinara (optional).