Pesto Star Bread

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling


16 servings

Updated: Nov. 22, 2023
I was excited to work with the Taste of Home Test Kitchen to make a savory version of my Christmas Star Twisted Bread. Pesto bread is perfect for the holidays (but it's a showstopper at any time of the year). —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Optional: Additional grated Parmesan cheese, basil pesto, torn fresh basil and marinara sauce


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine milk, egg, butter, sugar, salt, yeast mixture and 2 cups flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  2. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 4 portions. Roll each into a 12-in. circle. Place 1 circle on a greased 14-in. pizza pan. Spread with half the basil pesto to within 1/2 in. of edge; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Place second circle of dough on top; spread with sun-dried tomato pesto and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Top with third circle of dough, remaining basil pesto and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan; top with final portion of dough.
  4. Place a 2-1/2-in. round cutter on top of the dough in center of circle (do not press down). With a sharp knife, make 16 evenly spaced cuts from round cutter to edge of dough, forming a starburst. Remove cutter; grasp 2 adjacent strips and rotate twice outward. Pinch ends together. Repeat with remaining strips.
  5. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake until golden brown, 18-22 minutes. Remove from oven; brush with melted butter, avoiding areas where pesto is visible. Cool completely on a wire rack. If desired, sprinkle with additional cheese and basil before serving; serve with pesto or marinara.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 193 calories, 9g fat (4g saturated fat), 26mg cholesterol, 339mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.