Our daughter is due with our first grandchild this August. There are few words to express the love we already feel for this little unborn child. I can hardly wait to play this little piggy went to market, to tickle its pudgy little belly, and smell the unforgettable smells of a newborn. It truly amazes me how quickly life moves along. It does not seem that long ago when I announced to my family that I was pregnant with her, and now she is having her own. The news came through a special gift at Christmas. We were all gathered around the living room, when they passed out the “final” gifts to everyone. Receiving a brown paper wrapped jar, we were told to open it all at once. As we stared at the jars of spaghetti sauce, not quite understanding the gift, our middle son suddenly started screaming. That tipped me off to realize the “Prego” spaghetti sauce was simply a code word for “pregnant”. Recently, her husband video taped their first ultrasound. We enjoyed watching our grand-baby jumping like a little jumping bean at twelve weeks; truly one of life’s amazing miracles!

When our boys come home to visit, one of their favorite stops is heading to the local co-op for a pesto roll. The rolls smell delicious, but of course, are full of gluten. I decided to create a gluten free recipe for my own version of a GF Pesto Roll. One warning…they’re yummy!


Place fresh Italian Basil leaves into a blender or food chopper.




 Add olive oil, parmesan, nuts, and salt.
Blend until mixture is coarsely ground.
Place dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add egg and frothy yeast to the flour and
gently mix to form a soft dough.
Place dough onto a lightly greased parchment paper, then lay a lightly greased
sheet of parchment paper over the top. Gently roll out the dough.
Once dough is rolled out, carefully spread pesto paste onto the dough.
Gently begin rolling the dough (length-wise) working carefully from one side
to the next. The dough will be very soft and can tear easily. Move slowly through
this process, keeping your dough well floured.
Once your dough is fully rolled, shape the sides to form a nice cylinder shape.
Next, I take dental floss (preferably unscented) and slide it under the roll.
Cross the dental floss strings on top, slicing completely through the dough.
This forms a perfect slice without crushing the dough.
Next, place your rolls into a lightly greased glass dish, leaving room for them
to expand. Place the rolls in a warm area and leave to rise. You may now begin
to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Allow the rolls to rise for about a 1/2 hour. They should be fully touching on all
Once they have finished rising, very gently rub 2 Tbsp melted butter onto the top
of the rolls. Place into your pre-heated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until
 rolls are golden brown. (Sprinkle a small amount of cheese on top of rolls
about 10 minutes prior to pulling rolls from oven).
Enjoy a yummy pesto roll warm from the oven.
Gluten-Free Pesto Rolls
  • 3 cups favorite baking flour blend (recipe under GF Flour Mixes) 
  • 1 Tbsp rapid rise yeast
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup  dry milk powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  •  6 Tbsp butter (reserve 2 Tbsp for the top of the rolls)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp oil (I used Canola)

     Pesto Paste: (Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth)

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (preferred), walnuts, or almonds
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix all dry ingredients until combined. Set aside.
  2. Put water and butter in a glass measuring cup and microwave just until the butter has melted. Remove from microwave and stir. Add milk, stir. Add other wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. With the stand mixer or hand mixer running , pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrap down the bowl if you have to.
  4. Allow to mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
  5. Place large sheet of parchment paper (or plastic wrap) on cutting board or countertop and spray with a non-stick spray. Lay ball of dough on top of parchment and add another layer of sprayed parchment over the top of the dough. Pat the dough down into a rough rectangular shape. Roll the dough out (with the parchment on top) to a rectangle approximately 8″ x 16″.
  6. Remove parchment. Spread filling mixture evenly across dough’s surface. Leave 1 1/2″ along one long end without any filling, this is where your pesto rolls will be sealed.
  7. Starting along the long end, lift the edge of the dough and roll it up, forming a long cylinder. Start with the edge that has filling on it, that will be the center of your finished rolls.
  8. Using a long piece of dental floss, cut the long “pesto roll” into 8 pieces, about 1 1/2″ wide. You can do this by placing the thread underneath the roll, crossing it at the top, and pulling the threads so they cross each other, pulling it through the dough. This way, you won’t be squishing your dough down by cutting with a knife. Place rolls in prepared pan, with cut side up.
  9. Allow the pesto rolls to rise in a warm, draft free place for about 30 minutes, or until nearly double in size.
  10. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are a nice golden brown.
  11. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before enjoying their deliciousness! Best served warm.

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