Pesto Panini Bread

When I go back to Colorado, one of the foods I look forward to is a Turkey Pesto Ciabatta sandwich from Mimi’s Cafe.

This time, I ordered pancakes when we went to Mimi’s. Still good, but not the sandwich I was craving.

I also feel like having school start the Monday after Thanksgiving limits the amount of leftovers I can consume.

So, turkey was on sale at Wegmans, and I picked up a nice little turkey breast.

I wanted to recreate the Turkey Pesto Ciabatta, but did you know ciabatta has to rise overnight?

I didn’t. Not enough foresight for that to happen.

So I switched to a panini idea. I wanted to make the bread.

I couldn’t find a recipe for bread to use in panini making. I was disappointed.

The Pioneer Woman has never failed me, so I altered the recipe for Blooming Bread from her Pastor.

This bread ends up crispy and delicious, perfect for making into a panini.

Pesto Panini Bread

  • 4 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 Stick of Butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon of Pesto
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 1 Cup of Lukewarm Water

Combine the warm water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, activating the yeast.

Add the rest of the indgredients and knead for 10 minutes. My mixer, Vera, didn’t have any problems with this, but if yours starts to heat up, give it a rest for a few minutes or finish by hand.

Move the dough to a large cast iron skillet and allow to rise for 1 hour. I placed mine on top of the oven I was using to roast a turkey.

Once the dough has doubled in size, it can be moved into a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, covered in aluminum foil, or with any oven-safe lid. We want to control the browning.

Remove the cover an allow to bake for another 15 minutes.

Cut the loaf into sixths and enjoy filling this with whatever strikes your fancy.


I filled this loaf with tomato, pesto, mayo, turkey and mozzarella cheese. They were amazing!

I pressed them in our little George Foreman grill. No panini maker necessary! 2 cast iron pans work just as well.

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