Garlicky Goodness

Simplicity is often best when it comes to food, as so many classic dishes continue to prove. In search of a side that everyone at the table will enjoy, it often comes down to very basic but delicious concoctions that agree with even the pickiest palates. Take mashed potatoes, for instance, or rice pilaf, or… Garlic bread. Each one is a snap to make, with very humble beginnings, and can be adapted to accommodate whatever creative additions the cook might think of. Traditional garlic bread, however, is barely even worth mentioning. Any recipe that has an ingredient list that reads “one loaf of bread, a stick of margarine, a couple cloves of garlic” is mercifully easy to remember and prepare, but not worthy of raves. Even bad garlic bread is pretty good, because who doesn’t love the stinking rose?

It may seem a bit counter-intuitive to take this easy dish and turn it into something more complicated, but I just couldn’t leave well enough alone. As tasty as plain old garlic bread can be, I wanted something more special, more flavorful, and certainly more homemade.

Even before this loaf was halfway done baking, I knew that this would be one intensely flavored bread, as the kitchen was awash in the smell of roasted garlic. Definitely something for serious garlic lovers, this is the sort of thing that you’ll want to make sure everyone gets a slice of, lest one person feel assaulted by the inevitable garlic breath that follows. You could certainly dial it down a bit and use only one head of garlic, but either way, this is one version that is guaranteed to be 100% more impressive than the usual, if only because it’s entirely homemade. Whip out this loaf at your next big family feast, and it will be more than just the obligatory side dish; it will make the meal worth remembering.

Garlic Lover’s Bread

2 Heads Garlic
2 Tablespoons Margarine

1 Cup Warm Water
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
1 Packet Active Dry Yeast
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Fresh, Chopped Parsley
3 – 4 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the papery outer skin off the heads of garlic, but do not separate the cloves. Cut the tops off, and give them a quick spritz with cooking spray. Wrap both up together in a piece of aluminum foil, and pop the whole package into the oven for about 35 minutes. Let cool until you can comfortably handle it, and squeeze out the roasted cloves directly into your food processor or blender. (Make sure you get all of the papery bits off!) Toss in the margarine and pulse until you get a relatively smooth paste. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and water, and then sprinkle over the yeast. Let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes until frothy. Add in the salt, garlic paste, chopped parsley, and the first 3 cups of flour. If using your stand mixer, install the bread hook and let it slowly kneed the flour in. You can also mix it by hand, until you get a cohesive but somewhat tacky dough. If it still seems too wet, add in more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until you reach the right consistency.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead by hand for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Lightly grease a large bowl, and drop the ball of dough in. Cover with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours until doubled in volume. At this point, you can also stash it in the fridge overnight, and then pick up where you left off in the morning.

Once risen, turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface again and shape as desired. I braided mine just to make it a bit fancier, but you can always make it into a simple loaf shape. Here is a very good guide for making nicely shaped loaves, and here are a few ideas about making braids. Either way, lightly grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan, and place your shaped loaf inside. Give the top a quick spritz with cooking spray or a drizzle of olive oil, and let rise for another hour, until it’s peaking out from above the rim by about an inch or so.

Once it seems to be almost fully risen, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, until golden brown all over.

Now, for the hardest part: Let the loaf cool completely before cutting into it!  If you’re one of those people who absolutely needs to eat their garlic bread immediately, since it smells so tempting, you might want to consider making it as a bubble loaf so you can pick it apart while still warm.

You can easily make this bread days in advance and store it in the freezer until you’re ready to serve it. Just make sure you let it thaw at room temperature and do not microwave it to take the chill off. It’s particularly tasty if you take the time to toast each individual slice to give it a nice crunch.  This recipe can also be doubled to make two loaves at once, in case you need to feed a crowd or want to have an extra loaf just in case.

Printable Recipe

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39 thoughts on “Garlicky Goodness

  1. I love beard. I love your braid! I would love to make this!!!
    Some reason I love to make artisan bread with simply fancy things. I’ve never tried a to braid the dough…
    VERY NICE!
    Sydney

  2. hi! I’m very eager to try this bread, but I just want to check something first. (i’m a recipe kind of person, I like to be precise!) When you say one packet of yeast, how much is that exactly? I live in Korea, so I’m worried that the yeast packets might be different.
    thanks!

  3. oh yum, that *is* garlicky, this would be amazing at a holiday dinner!

    and Ingrid, I don’t know if you’ll read this but a packet of yeast is essentially 2 1/2 tsps, if I’m not wrong.

  4. This is great – I love that the garlic is pureed and incorporated into the dough. One of my gripes is finding whole cloves of garlic in anything. I haven’t got much breadmaking experience, but I’d really like to try this recipe!

    One question: in the recipe instructions, it says to add oil to the dough (with the garlic, parsley, flour, etc.) However, I don’t see oil listed in the ingredients. How much oil should be added? Thanks!!

  5. ohhhhh i WILL be making this. i thought though that garlic killed yeast? i know i heard somewhere that you are supposed to wait to add garlic to breads until after they rise… but yours seems to have risen just fine! maybe the roasting of the garlic takes away that factor? anyway, i’m overanalyzing and this bread looks wonderful and i can’t wait to try it!

  6. This loaf is such a classy presentation and definitely a step up for garlic bread. I have heard that garlic inhibits the yeast action. Have you ever heard of that? Doesn’t seem to bother your outstanding creation here..

  7. Oh wow! Not only is this fantastically garlicy, but the braided loaf is beautiful! My husband hates the smell of garlic on me, but he is out of town on business this weekend so I will garlic on with out a second thought!

  8. This looks so good. I have been making a lot of bread. Just made two loaves yesterday. When I finish it, I am going to try your recipe.

  9. oh that sounds so delicious. I don’t let myself near bread very often, because I am a complete glutton and I’ll eat the whole loaf in one day. But every once in a while, I’ll give myself a treat! Imagine my garlic breath if I ate a whole loaf of THIS bread in one day! whoa.

  10. I would have to make that as a bubble loaf so I could pull it apart and eat it while warm. There is no WAY I could wait until a garlic loaf cooled off before eating. TGH would have to hold me back and he’d only do that so HE could be the first to get at it! :) Your loaf looks lovely though. The braid reminds me of the way my friend makes her Challah bread.

  11. Is it, take the loaf out of the oven, preheat and put back in the oven for 30 mins, or leave loaf in oven while preheating and start timing when oven gets to 350?

  12. My collegues often complain about my close relationship with garlic. I know that soon I will give them another reason for this, because I imagine myself appearing with a sandwich made from this fantastic bread! Thank you for the recipe.

  13. That is just gorgeous, Hannah–both the bread recipe AND the photo! Love the smell of fresh bread. . . and with garlic, even better!

  14. I adore garlic. My husband always kids me about it (at least he likes it too). This sounds yummy.

    I worked my last bread machine to death . . . it’s been a long time since I’ve made bread — even though I used to do it by hand all the time long before bread machines were around.

    I finally bought some yeast, though. Now to use it!

  15. Mmmm this not only sounds good but looks just amazing. I love how you braided the top. 10 minutes of kneading by hand kind of scares me off though. I really hate kneading dough..

  16. Yum!
    I make this and it was wonderful! I even braided the loaf!
    I didn’t see the parsley till I was in the middle of making it. So I went to my garden and still found some green. The parley and my toes where as cold as ice.
    I will definatly keep this with my bread recipes. It is so simple but that is the great thing about it!!!
    THANK YOU!

  17. yum! I want to try and make more bread, the old fashioned way – when I eventually gather up the amount of enthusiasm required, it is really satisfying! Providing that you don’t end up with some sort of bread monster, which could happen if, say, you mistook “2 tbsp of fresh or diced yeast” for “2 tbsp of fresh or dried yeast”. I love garlic bread!

  18. Garlic is my best friend! I’ll definitely try to make this and hopefully my partner won’t complain too much about my garlic breath.

  19. […] I’ve had this recipe saved on my Pinterest for a long time, and the crazy rain and hail we had last night inspired me to try out some kind of baking recipe. For some reason, cold weather equals bread! To see the original recipe, go to http://bittersweetblog.com/2008/12/05/garlicky-goodness/. […]

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