Cheese & pesto whirls

Cheese & pesto whirls

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(45 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 40 mins plus cooling and at least 1.5 hrs rising

More effort

Serves 12
These herby tear-and-share bread rolls have mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes baked into them - perfect for a picnic or for dipping into soup

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal293
  • fat11g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs36g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre4g
  • protein10g
  • salt1.4g
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  • 450g strong white bread flour, plus a little for dusting
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 150g tub fresh pesto



    Pesto is a generic Italian name for any sauce made by pounding ingredients together.


  • 240g tub semi-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 100g grated mozzarella (ready-grated is best for this, as it is drier than fresh)
  • 50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • handful basil leaves



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…


  1. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and 1 1/2 tsp fine salt in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a tabletop mixer. Measure out 300ml warm water and add roughly 280ml to the flour, along with the olive oil, and start mixing until the ingredients start to clump together as a dough. If the dough seems a little dry, add the remaining water. Once combined, knead for 10 mins by hand on your work surface, or for 5 mins on a medium speed in a mixer. The dough is ready when it feels soft, springy and elastic. Clean the bowl, drizzle in a little oil, then pop the dough back in, turning it over and coating the sides of the bowl in oil. Cover with some oiled cling film and set aside in a warm place to double in size – this will take 1-3 hrs, depending on the temperature.

  2. Line a baking tray with parchment. Uncover the dough and punch it down a couple of times with your fist, knocking out all the air bubbles. Tip out onto a floured work surface and dust the top with a little flour too, if it is sticky. Roll the dough out to a rectangle, roughly 40 x 30cm. Spread the pesto over the dough, then scatter over the tomatoes, both cheeses and the basil. Roll the dough up from one of the longer sides, into a long sausage.

  3. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Place on the baking tray, cut-side up, in a 3-by-4 formation, making sure the open end of each roll is tucked in towards the centre on the arrangement – this will prevent them from uncoiling during cooking. Leave a little space between each roll as they will grow and touch as they prove. Loosely cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove for 30 mins–1 hr until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  4. Uncover the bread when it is puffed up. Bake on the middle shelf in the oven for 35-40 mins until golden brown and the centre looks dry and not doughy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 10 mins.

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Comments, questions and tips

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6th May, 2019
Turned out very well. Still delicious the next day, although obviously best fresh. I used less sundried tomatoes as that is my preference. I used a traybake tin and after their second prove the buns were touching. I was worried they might not bake fully in the middle but after 30 minutes they were cooked all the way through. Will make again :)
imallebbot's picture
15th Oct, 2018
Delicious! Will definitely make these again, they freeze well too
9th Jun, 2018
These were very popular. I used enough pesto from a jar (not fresh) to thinly cover the dough (approx. 3 generous teaspoons), omitted the sun dried tomatoes and added 2 slices of parma ham chopped up and spread across the dough. I'm sure they'd be even better with the fresh pesto.
24th Mar, 2017
Made these swirls yesterday and although they tasted lovely fresh out of the oven, I have found that today they are very dry and stale tasting. I baked them for 35 mins . Maybe they don't need as long in the oven. Will try making them again and reduce the cooking time.
17th Feb, 2017
these are honestly SO good. i'm only 15 but they are the best thing i have cooked and quite easy... totally recommended
23rd Apr, 2016
Really nice and not to hard to make for a bread newbie like myself. I substituted mozzarella for feta, as thats what I had on hand. Very tasty!
6th Oct, 2015
Lovely! The recipe worked really well and the end result was delicious. I put the shaped rolls into a 20x30cm traybake tin to prove and cook (a idea borrowed from a similar Good Food Recipe for olive spiral rolls). This allowed the perfect amount of room to expand but meant that the rolls were neatly contained and didn't unravel.
lwallien's picture
20th Aug, 2015
Great recipe - make sure you roll up the dough tightly or the filling will fall out even before the second prove.
19th Aug, 2015
This was absolutely delicious. My husband made them to go with tomato soup for a starter and they were gone in the blink of an eye. Everyone loved them.
Darren Collings
15th Jul, 2020
Could these be made up to step three, then put in the fridge overnight for baking the next day?
17th Jul, 2017
Would want to make these a day ahead, would you recommend leaving them in the fridge after proving them, and then cooking them on the day?
goodfoodteam's picture
31st Jul, 2017
For best results, we'd suggest making these from start to finish as described. You could make them the day before, allow to cool completely and then store in an airtight tin.
Helen sheridan
3rd Nov, 2016
at what point in the method can I freeze this please? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Nov, 2016
Hi Helen,Thanks for your question. Unless otherwise stated (next to the star, above the nutrition) then our recipes can always be frozen at the end as long as they are marked as freezable that is!
1st Nov, 2016
Can I use pesto from a jar instead of fresh pesto?
12th Jan, 2016
Can you freeze these? And if so, at what stage is best?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Feb, 2016
You can freeze these just before the proving stage in step 3. Open-freeze until solid then wrap up. To serve, unwrap, return to the baking tray to thaw and prove then bake as instructed.
Jim Williams
4th Dec, 2015
Can this be done with puff pastry instead of the bread dough?
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Dec, 2015
Yes you can use puff pastry for this sort of recipe, follow the cooking instructions for pizza puff pinwheels for a rough guide, as the cooking temp and times will be different to using dough. 
19th Jul, 2020
Really good. Mine was finished after 20 minutes in the oven. Any longer and they would have been dry.
Iris Powell's picture
Iris Powell
1st Aug, 2019
Just finished making these, and the flavour and texture are delicious... slightly disappointed with the bake though as I checked them after 30 minutes to find the tops had burned! Would definitely recommend reducing the oven temperature or cooking time, but otherwise fabby flavour!
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