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Pesto dinner rolls to make for the Holidays(Vegan)

Lovely dinner rolls redolent with basil that are perfect for slathering with "butter" or dunking in soup. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 53 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 1 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 1/4 Dry Yeast, or 1 packet
  • 3 1/2 cups All purpose white flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • Cornmeal for dusting
  • 1/2 cup Basil pesto


  1. In a large bowl mix the yeast, sugar and lukewarm warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved. Give it a good stir to help it along if need be. 

  2. Now add the oil and salt and give it a stir. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time until you have a lovely cohesive dough that you can begin kneading. There is no "knead" to add all of the flour, I sometimes stop a 1/2 cup before the full amount. Knead it on a well floured counter for 10 minutes adding a bit more flour if necessary until you dough is smooth and elastic.. 

  3. Place the ball of dough in a clean bowl and allow to rise covered in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Between 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hour depending on how warm it is in your kitchen. 

  4. Roll your dough out into a rectangle about 12 by 18 inches. Slather most of your pesto over reserving three tablespoons for brushing the top of the rolls. Knead the pesto through the dough and cut the dough into 18 equal-ish pieces, about the size of a golf ball,  and form into balls. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. 

  5. Heat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a metal pan on the bottom rack of your oven.

    Allow to rise, lightly covered, for 20 minutes. 

    Brush the top the rolls with reserved pesto.

  6. Place the sheet pan with the formed roll on the top rack in the oven.

    Pour 1 cup of tap water into the heated metal pan on the bottom rack. This is for steam to help a good crust form on the rolls. 

    Bake 15 minutes.

    Remove and allow to cool.