Pesto French Bread

Pesto French Bread

2 cups warm water (105º to 115ºF)
1 package Fleischmann’s® Active Dry Yeast
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour (6 to 6 1/2 cups)
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
1 clove garlic (1 to 2 cloves) – minced
1 egg white
beaten with
1 tablespoon water

Place 1/4 cup warm water in large, warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add remaining water, 2 tablespoons oil, salt and 2 cups flour; blend well. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.

In small bowl, combine remaining oil, parsley, Parmesan cheese, basil and garlic; reserve.

Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each to 15- × 12-inch rectangle. Spread each with 1/2 basil mixture to within 1/2-inch of edges. Beginning at long end of each, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Taper ends by gently rolling back and forth. Place loaves, seam sides down, on large greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.

With sharp knife, make one lengthwise cut (1/8-inch deep) on top of each loaf to within 1- inch of ends. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Brush egg white mixture on loaves. Bake at 400ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet; cool on wire rack.