Straight out of the oven, the fumes of fresh moorish garlic bread waft through my kitchen and the living room it opens to. I look at it and I kinda of stare for a second before I decide, even the pretty things are meant to be eaten. Maybe pretty things are especially so – too pretty not to eat, that is.
I grab the edge with one hand and lightly pull with the other. It tears at a fold and as expected – a humble yet whimsical puff of steam. It gives way to the most soft and incredibly fluffy bread.
But how does it taste? God, I hope it tastes as good as it looks.
I taste it.
It is heavenly. The olive oil in it makes it taste buttery – unplanned, but a happy surprise! And there’s enough garlicky and herby goodness in every bite to make you want another. Ah, how I love you, garlic bread…and then I tasted it again – just to be sure.
Naturally, the best things become better when shared, so out come my family from their hiding nooks to try my latest creation. They love it too, and I’m beaming that my recipe turned out perfect the first time around – No need to play with ratios and quantities, adjust temperatures or baking time.
Now, this would be a perfect addition to our Christmas feast. I make mental note of it and sample yet another piece. Smiling to myself at just the thought of a Christmas table setting. Yes, it will be perfect.
Like any bread recipe, this recipe will take time – but most of it is really just waiting for the bread to proof.
All you have to do is add your dough ingredients to a stand mixer and let it do the job. Then leave it to proof in a warm spot for an hour or so while you carry on with your day. When that time has lapsed, just roll it out, spread your garlic, parsley, oregano and olive oil mixture onto it, then sprinkle with a little salt. Cut your dough into strips, then curl and fold them randomly into knots and rolls – it’s the way to create those perfect folds.
Then allow to rise again before baking for 15-20 minutes. Not as hard as you thought, right? :P
Ah… gotta love that fluffy, warm garlic bread!
The Best Garlic and Herb Bread
Makes 6-8 knots
1 cup water
1/3 cup milk of choice (I used soy milk)
7g (or one sachet) dried active yeast
2 3/4 cup bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves (or half a bulb), chopped finely
1.5 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp fresh oregano leaves (optional)
1 tsp salt
Optional: Extra 2 tsp olive oil to brush over the top
1. Add your water to the milk, then heat over a stove or in a microwave until just warm to touch. Stir through your yeast and cover, allowing your yeast to bloom and froth. This will take about 10 minutes.
Attach a dough hook to your stand mixer then add 2 cups of bread flour and your salt to the mixing bowl. Pour in your bloomed yeast mixture and olive oil. Mix on slow until a wet dough forms, then add in more flour a little at a time until the dough just begins to pull away from the edges of your stand mixer. You may not need all of the remaining flour, depending on how absorbent your flour is. Mix on medium speed for approximately 7 minutes. Place your dough ball into a lightly oiled large bowl, cover the bowl with cling wrap and let sit in a warm place for an hour or until dough has doubled in size.
Meanwhile, mix your chopped garlic with the 1.5 tbsp of olive oil, parsley and oregano. Set this aside.
2. When your dough has risen, punch the air out of the dough and roll it out into a rectangle the size of a baking tray. Spread over your garlic and olive oil mixture, then sprinkle over your salt. Cut your rectangle into 6-8 strips, then scrounge/roll each of these up into circular pieces. Place onto a lined rectangular baking tray – I used a brownie tray. :) Cover and let double in size again for another hour.
3. Once doubled in size, place the tray into an oven preheated at 210°C for 15-20minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush lightly with a little olive oil before serving warm.