Posted on 5 Comments

Pesto Dinner Rolls

If you want to try something new, this recipe is for you.

Super soft savory dinner rolls with addition of pesto and parmesan cheese will surprise you with decadent and unique flavor.

The recipe was adapted from talented Erin Clarkson @cloudykitchen

Ready in:  30 hoursServes:  10 people
Yield:   12 x 65g RollsUnits:  US, EU


Sourdough Starter 


  • 20g flour 
  • 120g milk


  • 360 g bread flour 
  • 180 g milk
  • 70 g sourdough starter 
  • 1 large egg
  • 30 g sugar
  • 70 g pesto
  • 6 g salt 
  • 0.5 g dry yeast (optional, to reduce sourness)

Pesto spread 


Day 1


  • 10 pm dissolve starter in the water, whisk together, add flour, mix well, cover and let it sit at room temp 74-78F until it increases in volume in 2 or more times.
  • Learn how to make sourdough starter from scratch here).


Tangzhong is a paste of flour cooked in water or milk which is used to improve the texture of bread, making it soft and fluffy.

10 pm Prepare tangzhong by mixing flour and milk, stir to combine.

Then cook the mixture over low heat until nice, thick pudding-like consistency .

Once the tangzhong is cooked, transfer it to a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. This will prevent the top surface to drying up. Let cool off until next morning.

Day 2


  • 8 am in a bowl of stand mixer mix milk, an egg, sugar, sourdough starter (70 g), yeast (if using), pesto, salt, flour and tangzhong. Start mixing the  dough on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 minutes, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 3-4 minutes until well incorporated.
  • Increase the speed of mixer, mix for 10 more minutes until the dough is well incorporated and comes up together. You will be able to perform windowpane test.
  • Cover and let it proof for 3-4 hours at 76-80F/ 24-28C.
  • During that time perform 2 stretches and folds.
  • The dough should become slightly puffy.
  • 12 pm transfer the dough to the fridge for cold fermentation for 6-9 hours.
  • 9 pm Remove the dough from the fridge.
  • Divide on 12 equal pieces (about 60-65g each
  • Pinch all edges to the bottom of a roll, try to round it tightly.
  • Transfer the shaped rolls into the baking pan 9×14 inches
  • Cover rolls and let them proof overnight for 8 -10 hours 70-72F /20-21C until they double in volume.

Day 3

  • 7 am Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Bake for 25-27 minutes until golden brown.
  • Prepare the spread my mixing 1tsp of pesto with 2 tbs of olive oil.
  • Brush hot rolls with pesto spread and garnish each with shredded Parmesan cheese.


recipe image
Recipe Name
Pesto Dinner Rolls with Sourdough Starter
Author Name
Published On
Preparation Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Average Rating
4.51star1star1star1star1star Based on 5 Review(s)

5 thoughts on “Pesto Dinner Rolls

  1. I was very careful about weighing all of the ingredients and ended up adding another 200g of flour, because without it the dough was impossibly soft and sticky. If you add up the milk, pesto and egg (50g or so) it comes to 300g liquid, and 360g of flour wasn’t enough.

    1. Barbara, thank you for your feedback!
      Sorry it didn’t work out for you.
      The liquid from tangzhong doesn’t count, because it supposed to turn into a starchy substance.
      The egg usually turns into a powder, during baking, so i wouldn’t count it as a liquid.
      It’s a kind of a tricky dough, to handle. But with strong flour, and little longer mixing, it should get together.

  2. I wasn’t counting the milk used in the tangzhong or the liquid from the starter. In the recipe, for the dough, there is 180g milk, 70g pesto and 50g egg, the egg is still liquid when making the dough so that is 300g liquid to 360g flour, that was the comparison. I will be making them again, because they were very tasty and soft.

    1. Barbara, thank you!
      I’m pretty sure it will work out next time. Pesto is a fat, doesn’t count as a liquid.
      For easier incorporation of ingredients, hold the pesto until your dough will gain some strength. Then adding pesto will help to tighten up the gluten.

      1. I will try that next time. I made sourdough pizza today and used King Arthur’s Pizza Dough Flavor in it. I got to thinking that would be a nice addition to the Pesto Rolls.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *