I stumbled across this recipe and image the other day and then realised I hadn’t shared it with you here. It’s for my easy cheese and onion bread with red pepper pesto which I developed for Pesto Princess a few years back. I love their range of Pestos which are widely available in South Africa and I always have a few stashed in my freezer for when a quick sauce is required. The red pepper pesto is my favourite variant.

If you are living in another country, hopefully, you will find a delicious red pepper pesto or you could make your own by following my recipe here (it’s so easy I even made a video to who you how) The alternative would be to use basil pesto, or really any pesto of your choice. It adds so much flavour to this bread.

You can also leave the pesto out completely and just roll with the cheese and onion and add a few chopped fresh herbs as I have done in the past. It’s also delicious. 

This bread is a fab addition to a table with salads and other nibbly bits and of course, a good slathering of butter is the order of the day 

Recipe – makes 1 medium loaf

  • 3 brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2-star anise pods (optional)
  • 500g Self-Raising Flour
  • 1 cup mature cheddar, grated
  • ¼ cup Pesto Princess Red Pepper Pesto
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 cup / 250ml buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup water

Pre heat the oven to 180C / 350 F and line a medium bread loaf pan with baking paper.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the onions and star anise over a gentle heat for around 8 – 12 minutes until they are soft and just start turning golden. You do not want to brown them. Set them aside and allow to cool slightly.

Sift the flour and add the salt, cheese and herbs. Add the cooled onions and mix. Add the red pesto to the buttermilk and stir. Add this along with the water to the flour and gently mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a sticky dough.

Spoon the dough into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours until golden brown on top. You will know your bread is done when you insert a sharp knife or skewer into the thickest part and it comes out clean.

* to prevent the top from over browning it may be necessary to loosely cover it with a piece of foil from about 40 minutes into the baking time

easy cheese & onion bread with red pepper pesto




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  1. This looks so good Sam. I love breads like this that just need a slather of butter, or a slice of cheese. I have to try this recipe. I see you don’t use any yeast, what is the texture like?

  2. Sam

    Hi Angela, Yes, no yeast and the texture is quite fine. More of a quick bread

  3. Sam

    Hi Holly – no buttermilk is necessary here.

  4. I tried the recipe – and it was still “raw” after the 1.5 hours – the taste was nice. Not sure what went wrong in the baking but I followed the recipe and used all ingredients as shown above.

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