Ever since I started buying plant-based products for the kitchen and our cupboards, the thing that Sam has missed the most is pesto. He was also an “oh, you need an afternoon pick-me-up? Have a cheeky bowl of pesto pasta.” The number of times, I’ve walked into the kitchen at night to see him making a bowl of pesto pasta as a late night snack is too numerous to count.
Most delicious pestos are made with parmesan (which doesn’t even make them all vegetarian – it’s the tricky thing about hard cheese), and because I don’t buy or invest a lot of money into any sort of cheese substitute, we’ve just had a shortage of any pesto in our lives lately.
Enter Sacla’. When they reached out to me to work on a post with them about their new “Free From” range, I was overjoyed. I knew it was right up my alley and I leapt at the opportunity.
Sacla’ make two “Free From” pestos. The No. 9 Free From Basil Pesto, and the No. 10 Free From Tomato Pesto. Both pestos are gluten, wheat and dairy free. They’ve substituted parmesan for tofu in both of their recipes. The No. 10 tastes akin to Sacla’s No. 2 Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, whilst the No. 9 is like the No. 1 Classic Basil Pesto. Some vegan pestos just make normal pesto but without the parmesan. When that happens you lack the texture of normal pesto. The added tofu in Sacla’s is just right. It gives it a bit of chewiness that you never notice in pesto until it’s suddenly taken away. And the basil comes through quite clearly.
I honestly think it’s really wonderful that big companies are starting to cater to a wider range of dietary needs, and regardless of how you feel about the corporatisation of food; a movement to lessen our dependency on factory farming is a positive step.
My challenge with creating a recipe with Sacla’s Free From pestos is that I wanted to do something slightly different for you. It would have been easy to create a pasta or risotto recipe around it, but I wanted to challenge myself slightly and think (if only ever so minimally) outside the box.
Sacla’s Free From range can be now found at most major supermarkets, or you can buy it directly from their online shop.
So today I bring you: Vegan Braided Basil Pesto Bread (made with the Free From Basil Pesto).
- 150 mL of almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 sachet of yeast (approximately 7 g)
- 300 g of flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 30 mL of olive oil
- 4 tablespoons of vegan pesto
- olive oil to brush on top
- Pour and set your milk aside so that it comes to room temperature. Then mix in the sugar and yeast into the milk. Once the sugar is dissolved give it a swirl to bring it together.
- Then stir in the olive oil into your milk mixture. Pour the yeasty milk mixture into your flour bowl. Mix everything together and knead it into a smooth ball.
- Cover and let it rest for 1 hour.
- Cover a baking pan with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle shape. Spread the pesto out onto the dough evenly, leaving the edges un-pesto-ed.
- Start rolling the dough lengthwise. Plop your dough onto your pan. Cut the dough in half lengthwise, and then start braiding the two bits together, cut side up. Brush the top of your bread with a little olive oil.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
I think it would also be really delicious to coat a bunch of roasted vegetables in one of the pestos before then adding them to a sandwich and pressing or toasting it!
Available from the Free
***This post was in collaboration with Sacla’ but all opinions are forever my own.***