Pesto and Feta Scrolls


Aside from the fact that I am next level Jet lagged, we just got home from the best holiday! There was a wedding, (and a wedding cake!), lots of walking, shopping, and swimming in the Lake. Lots of food happened too - mainly stone fruit pies and far too many doughnuts. Its was so amazing having people there to eat it rather than me having to force it upon everyone that I meet. It always sucks a little saying goodbye to everyone as NZ is so so far from NYC, but we are going home for the month of February to escape the gross winter so at least I have that to look forward to! Goodbyes are dumb but I'm really looking forward to getting back to my kitchen where I know where everything is. I have lots of exciting things coming up which I can't wait to share with you! 

In other news, how about these scrolls? The amazing thing about scrolls is that you can literally fill them with whatever you would like! The original recipe is for raspberry jam buns, and is from Julia Turshen's "Small victories". I found the recipe online, then ordered the book half way through making these, so it should be waiting for me when I get back! I love the idea of only needing one good dough recipe that you can adapt to whatever you feel or have in the house - both sweet and savoury. This would be amazing filled with a cinnamon and nut mix, or raisins, or you could spread a tomato sauce on it and then top with salami and cheese for a pizza scroll kind of situation. 

My take on them is a simple pesto and feta combo, which is one of my absolute faves. The salty feta stands up really well against the fresh pesto. I have made my own pesto here, but you could totally use jarred if you like! If you haven't tried making your own pesto before I highly recommend it - it's super simple and lasts for ages! I always make it in bulk and have a big jar in the fridge ready to throw into dressings, onto pizza or over pasta. 

I used a cast iron baking dish to bake these in but it would work just as well with them snuggled together on a baking tray, just ensure that you allow room for them to rise when arranging the rolled up dough.




Pesto and feta scrolls
- Makes 12 -

Adapted from 'Small Victories'

Scroll Dough
3/4 cup (180ml) warm whole milk, or water
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) dry yeast
1 egg
3 1/4 cup (390g) All purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp Kosher salt
4 Tbsp (55g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 oz (225g) feta cheese, crumbled
2 packed cups basil leaves, washed and patted dry
1/3 cup (45g) nuts (I use pine nuts but walnuts, almonds or pecans also work well) 
1/2 cup (50g) grated parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
1 cup (240ml) Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste 

Egg wash
1 egg
1 Tbsp water



Place Basil, nuts, parmesan and garlic in a blender or food processor. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until the consistency is a little more runny than a thick paste - you may not need all of the oil. Season to taste. Transfer to a container and set aside. I like to do this step while the dough is proofing.

In a small glass bowl, warm the milk in the microwave, or in a pan on the stovetop, until it is just warm to the touch. Add the yeast and sugar, and let sit for 5 minutes until it begins to foam on the top. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt and mix lightly to combine. Crack the egg into the milk and yeast mixture, and whisk with a fork to combine slightly. Add to the flour mixture, along with the butter. 

Mix on low for approximately 6-7 minutes, or until the dough is strong and smooth. Transfer to a well oiled bowl, cover lightly with plastic wrap, and leave to rise in a warm place for approximately an hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knock some of the air out using your hands. Roll into a roughly shaped rectangle approximately 18"x12" (46cm x 30cm). Spread generously with pesto, leaving a small border around the outside, and sprinkle with the crumbled feta. Roll tightly, starting at a vertical edge, until you have a tight log.

Cut the log into 12 even pieces. Arrange in a lightly oiled baking dish or baking tray, leaving a little room between for spreading (I used a cast iron baking dish that was approx 12" x 9"). Cover lightly with oiled plastic, and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until they spring back lightly and your finger leaves in indentation in the dough. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350f/180c. 

Prepare the egg wash by whisking the egg and water together. Brush the surface of the rolls lightly with egg wash. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown. Serve slightly warm, with additional pesto if desired.