FOCACCIA CON CENA—Pesto Focaccia Dinner Rolls!

by valentinalucia

Focaccia is one of the first things I always wanted to make, but never got around to. I wanted to make dinner rolls and use some of the leftover pesto I had from a previous recipe to try something new. I figure focaccia rolled up like cinnamon buns with pesto in the middle would make a great savory side for dinner—and was I ever right 🙂 Here are delicious Pesto Focaccia Dinner Rolls!

I first have to say that this recipe is super versatile—you don’t need to use pesto as your filling. With this focaccia recipe as the base, you’re setting yourself up for a fantastic bread no matter what flavors you add to it. I plan on making this focaccia in true focaccia form, probably with carmelized onions or peppers on top soon, too. Maybe rosemary or olives… the possibilities are endless!

I could have eaten all of these rolls tonight. I had three. Still probably more than I should have, but you know what? I feel no guilt 🙂 They were too good to feel anything but love and goodness about eating them. The bread was fantastic because it’s a true focaccia recipe —even if these rolls didn’t look like your typical focaccia loaf, they tasted exactly like traditional focaccia. Slight crisp on the outside, warm and fluffy in the middle, and with a hint of soft olive oil flavor in each bite. The pesto worked well to salt the rolls perfectly, too.

Make this focaccia recipe. Now. Please&ThankYou.

Pesto Focaccia Dinner Rolls

(yields about a dozen rolls)

Adapted from Emeril’s Focaccia


1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 cups warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F)

2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cups pesto (I used almost an entire recipe of my Black Olive Pistachio Pesto)


1. In a bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let sit for 10 minutes.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, add 3 cups of flour, salt, olive oil, and the yeast mixture. Turn the mixer on low and mix until the dough comes together. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 2 hours.

3. Lightly coat a 9 by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Punch down dough and remove from the bowl onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle shape, about a quarter-inch thick. Spread the pesto on the dough, leaving a half-inch edge on all sides.

4. Slowly roll the dough into a cylinder and cut rolls about a half-inch to one inch thick. Place individual rolls onto prepared baking sheet, cover and let rise for another hour.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. After the dough has risen for the second time, brush rolls with olive oil and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest on a wire rack until cool.