Recipe for pesto, balsamic and garlic bread by John Whaite, winner of The Great British Bake Off

September 4, 2013
Author: Tom

John WhaiteYou can see Great British Bake off winner John Whaite give a live cooking demo at Eden’s Harvest Festival on Wednesday 11 September 2013! Here's the recipe he'll be making.



400g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

1 tsp salt

7g fast-action yeast (1 sachet)

280ml tepid water

For the garlic pesto butter

100g salted butter

4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed

1 tbsp green pesto

For the balsamic syrup

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp caster sugar

To finish

3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Handful fresh basil leaves

Black pepper

Sea salt flakes

Essential equipment

Large baking sheet (32~46cm/13~18 inches)

A piece of baking paper cut to fit the baking sheet

Pastry brush


  1. Place the flour in a mixing bowl and stir in the 
salt, then the yeast. Slowly add the water to the
flour, mixing into a messy dough. Turn out on to
the worktop and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, make the dough 
in a freestanding electric mixer with a dough hook, kneading for about six minutes. Place the dough in
 an oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel, leaving to rise for about one hour, or until doubled in size.
  2. Preheat the oven to 230°C/Gas 8.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the garlic and pesto, and take it off the heat.
  4. Put the piece of baking paper on the worktop, dust with flour and put the risen dough on it. Roll it out, dusting your rolling pin with flour, until it is a rough rectangle the size of the paper. Slide the paper, dough rectangle still on it, on to the baking sheet.
  5. Liberally paint about two-thirds of the garlic pesto butter all over the dough with the pastry brush, and leave to rest for about 25 minutes.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown, the butter has soaked in, and the bread has bubbled up in places. Remove from the oven and paint with the remaining butter mix.
  7. To make the balsamic syrup, simply place the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over a high heat. Allow to boil until it has reduced by half, then cool slightly before drizzling all over the baked bread.
  8. Finish with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, strew the basil leaves on top, and season with pepper and sea salt flakes.

Harvest Festival; Food, drink, dance and merriment; Click for the full programme

1 comment
Food, Harvest, Recipe
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One response to Recipe for pesto, balsamic and garlic bread by John Whaite, winner of The Great British Bake Off

  1. Enrico Fermi says:

    What an utter waste-of-space.
    What a crap- boring recepe. Why don't you boil your tousled head in balsamic vinagre until you either grow up, or realise what an utte waste of spce you are?

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