Basil Pesto-cheese Grits Bread

Prep: 15 min.; Cook: 10 min.; Stand: 30 min.; Rise: 1 hr., 45 min.; Bake: 40 min.We added some of our own twists to reader Catherine Boettner's flavorful recipe.

Yield: Makes 3 loaves
Recipe from Southern Living

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  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking grits, uncooked
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (10-ounce) block white Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes rapid-rise yeast
  • 5 to 6 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella or crumbled goat cheese


  1. Bring milk to a boil in a large sauce-pan over medium heat; stir in grits, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes (mixture will be very thick). Remove from heat; add salt and cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. Let stand 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Combine 1 cup warm water, sugar, and yeast in the mixing bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add grits mixture, beating at medium-low speed with the dough hook attachment until well blended.
  3. Add 4 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, beating until blended after each addition and stopping to scrape down sides as necessary. Gradually add enough flour to make a stiff but slightly sticky dough. Dough will form a ball around mixer attachment.
  4. Shape dough into a ball with well-floured hands, and place in a well- greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
  5. Punch dough down, and divide into thirds; roll each third into a 14- x 9-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread basil pesto evenly over each dough rectangle; sprinkle each with mozzarella or crumbled goat cheese. Roll up, jelly-roll fashion, starting with each short side and ending at middle of dough; form 2 rolls per loaf. Place into lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loafpans; cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  6. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. Let bread cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  7. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Cracker Barrel Vermont Sharp White Cheddar.
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