Makes: One loaf the size of the pan you use.
This is a very cool recipe because it looks so hard to make but it is fun & quite simple to make, yet so delicious. I chose to make a delicious pesto version because it adds an aromatic flavor to the entire loaf rather than stuffing it with a few dried fruits or chocolate that are only found in a few bites. The basil, pine nuts & olive oil flavor the entire bread because I spread it out throughout the wool-like threads. But if you prefer sweet then be creative & fill it with what you love. Whatever is inside you will enjoy this bread & it will be a winner at any holiday or special dinner with friends. Try it & let me know how you enjoyed making it & then eating it, of course! If you enjoy the art of bread making then this recipe is for you! Enjoy!
If using a stand mixer put flour, yeast & salt in a bowl & mix briefly. Add maple syrup and olive oil to the soy milk & then add to the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix on speed 2 for 3-5 minutes till dough comes together. If not using a stand mixer then add dry ingredients to a bowl & combine the wet ingredients and then add to dry ingredients. Mix with a rubber spatula and then hands until a rough ball of dough is formed.
Flour your counter or bench & from the stand mixer bowl or the hand mixing bowl turn dough out on the counter.
If you used a stand mixer, sprinkle flour to the top of the dough and knead just to form dough into a smooth ball, which will only take a few kneads & then form into a nice ball. If not using a stand mixer hand knead for 5-10 minutes.
Light oil the ball of dough & the bowl & cover with a wet towel. Let rise one hour or until doubled.
Take the ball of dough out of the bowl and place the bowl on your scale and zero it out. Then place dough in a bowl & take note of the total grams of dough. Since we need 5 equal pieces of dough divide by 5. That is the weight each ball of dough should weigh.
Place dough on the floured counter and flatten it into a round disc so you can cut it like a pizza into 5 pieces, weighing each one if possible. Otherwise do the best you can to get them even.
Now take each of the 5 pieces and form them into a nice round ball by tucking the edges under & rolling in your hand on the counter. Then place all of them under a wet towel while you work on rolling out one at a time.
Take the first ball of dough & roll it out into a long oval about 10” long by 5” in width.
Now 2/3 down the dough make a light line across the dough with your bench scraper or a knife. Starting with this line take your bench scraper and start cutting the strings from the line up to the top. Make sure you cut all the way thru the dough. Continue cutting strings until they are all done.
Add 1/5 or a large spoon of basil pesto to the solid base. Take your brush and spread it up the strings hoping to get some green to show thru on the final bake.
Now roll up your dough by starting at the bottom, folding in the sides slightly, and then rolling from bottom to top, making sure the seam is on the bottom.
Move rolled-up dough to the oven pan being sure to keep the seam on the bottom.
Do the same with the other 4 dough balls, rolling into an oval, cutting the strings & spreading the pesto & finally placing them in the oven pan all around the edge forming a nice connected circle with all 5 rolls.
Now cover with a damp cloth & time for the second rise. It should again rise until it is doubled in size with may take 45-60 minutes.
Once doubled, spray with olive oil or brush with milk and bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes.
Take out & try to allow your bread to cool for 1 hour. It will take a lot of willpower. ENJOY but save some for tomorrow!