Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Peacock Shaped Pizza Rolls #BreadBakers

Great British Baking Show is the one which we often watch in our home. In 2015, there was one episode in which they contestants made 3-D structures with bread. Particularly, Paul's lion bread was very impressive. That was impressive. We always talk about trying similar one, and we laugh imagining how Paul Hollywood's comments would be after looking at our bake or tasting it. Anyways, we enjoy that show and we take more inspiration from the show. 

When Stacy announced the theme, I was pretty delighted to make something. Till we began baking..hahaha. Though excited to make something different like Paul's lion bread, couldn't finalize one immediately. I took some time and when I was watching a pastry video, in which they were making shapes of birds, leaves, flowers, etc... the idea of peacock dawned. Somehow, I was stuck with the idea of peacock and was not even moving away slightly from that idea. I was shaping only feathers out of dough. For a few days, we had soup and bread dinners...hahaha...we love soup and bread and hence no complaints on that part. But the shape of the peacock was not coming through. The initial try was a flop, we exchanged comments as if it were coming from Paul Hollywood....'under-baked', 'overproved', 'under proved'....lol. It was fun. Then I tried tangzhong method and tried the feathers. The bread was beautiful and delicious. Again, I was shaping only feathers out of bread and was not quite satisfactory. The next time, the kids wanted pizza. We started making dough and thought to make the shaped bread out of pizza. We have one who likes only sauce pizza and the other who would eat pesto pizza. Two extremes. Always, they make their custom pizzas with whatever they want. But, the idea struck me - why not combine both and make a pizza. I could use the pesto to give the green hint for the feathers. Stacy and Camilla had made stuffed rolls (Nov 2020 #BreadBakers) and liked the idea of stuffed pizza rolls. And, for the feathers, it immediately occurred to me that Camilla had posted the chrysanthemum bread for the December 2020 #BreadBakers event. I liked the shape of the feathers much better with the chrysanthemum petals. So, implementing these, my peacock was getting a better shape. Shaping the neck and head was another challenge. I used my steel drinking cups to give the curved neck. They were pretty fine till the proving was done. Inside the oven, I guess, when I kept them for baking, I bumped them and hence the head looks tilted. It looks as if the peacock is having a mild attitude, but yay! it worked. My peacock worked and the kids satisfied with their versions of pizza. We loved it too. I used the small springform pans and arranged each of the individual feathers to make the complete feathers of the peacock. Attached it to the body with toothpick and skewers. Also, attached the neck to the body using a toothpick. Though this measurement made two peacocks, I couldn't picture the other one. Curiosity kills the cat,,, hahaha....we wanted to see whether it was completely baked and how it looked on the inside, and how is the neck, head?.... before clicking we did cut it and quickly gobbled it...hahaha. I used basic pizza dough, instead of olive oil used butter. Enriched doughs or any stuffing could be used too. The idea is to enjoy, have fun, and make great memories with family. Mission accomplished! I can update a peacock with a head facing straight in the future!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



Makes 2 peacocks

All-purpose flour - 3 and 3/4 cups
Water - 1 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Butter - 4 tbsp
Bread machine yeast - 3/4 tsp
Basil pesto - 2-4 tsp
Pizza sauce - 2-3 tbsp
Mozzarella cheese - 3/4 cup, shredded


Add everything to the bread machine and select the dough cycle. After the dough is done, transfer the dough to a floured surface, punch and knead. Divide the dough into two equal portions.

Take one portion of dough and keep the other one covered to prevent drying. Divide the dough into 1/2 and 2/3. To the 1/2 portion of the dough, roll into 1/8-in thick oblong shape. Spread 1-1.5 tbsp pizza sauce and sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Fold the long edges in, and from one end roll into a tight cylinder. Gently shape into a teardrop shape similar to the body of a peacock. Cover and keep aside. 

Take a small lemon sized ball out of the remaining dough, shape the neck, head, and beak. Attach them together and support it on a steel drinking cup to help maintain the neck shape all through proving and baking. Cover and set aside.

Roll the remaining dough into a roughly 1/8-in thick circle. Cut 3-in circles out. Roll the remaining after cutting and make as many 3-in circles as possible (about 21-22). Spread a little pesto, sprinkle a little cheese, fold in half and again fold in half to make a petal shape. Arrange them to give the complete feather shape of a peacock around a 4-in springform pan. Cover. Let all of these prove for 30 minutes.

Repeat with the other half of the dough. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 13-14 minutes, or till the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. The head and neck portion may be ready by about 9-11 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack.

Use a toothpick to hold the body and neck together. Similarly use a couple of toothpicks and a skewer to support the feathers. 

Beautiful 3-D peacock shaped pizza rolls are all ready to be served.

Making these were totally fun. Here is the list of all the animal-shaped bread that we shared today in #Breadbakers. Make sure to check and try each one of these. Thanks, Stacy and #BreadBakers for hosting this event!


  1. Shaping a peacock is noy easy especially the feathers. You have done a commendalbe job Radha. And the filling is so delicious! Your step by step pictures are really helpful.

  2. Wow! That is all I have to say, Radha. Wow. That looks like a ton of work...but to a delicious end. Thanks for sharing this recipe and process.

  3. Very impressive, Radha! I love that your peacock is not only pretty but that you've used two different flavors to create the colors. I think Paul Hollywood would give you a handshake for your peacock with attitude! You've earned one and also a Prue hug!

    1. Wow, Stacy! You made my day! Now I am feeling the handshake in real. Thanks again.

  4. All of that hard work was absolutely worth it. It is amazing!!

  5. This came out so beautifully! What an incredible fun appetizer / treat this would be to make and share!

    1. Thanks Rebekah! Yes, they can be a great tear and share appetizer.

  6. These are beautiful love those Peacok, they are not only beautiful but also delicious too.

  7. A peacock with attitude! Love it! You went all out on this one and I love all of your solutions.

  8. Totally love how you used the chrysanthemum bread method for the tail, it worked fantastically! And looks delicious too!

  9. Oh wow, you shaped a peacock. Hats off. Beautifully done and explained as well.

  10. Great job on those feathers! I need you find that episode of Great British Bake Off.

  11. Holy wow these are next level pizza rolls!

  12. What a fun and creative idea and it looks really neat! I bet it's delicious, too!

  13. Oh my goodness - this is SOOO much fun! I love it! My kids would have such a blast making it!