Friday, January 6, 2012

Garlic Bread

I'm on this quest to make crunchy crusty bread. Sadly, mine never gets this crusty shell.  Or maybe not too sadly, as I've learned that my husband doesn't really care for the super crusty exterior.  But, too bad for him, because I like it.  I've been known to pick away and only eat the crusty part off the bread bowls at Panera, much to the amusement of my friends.  Seriously, I think it's the best part.

I thought I'd give a new recipe a try and maybe I'd strike gold.  This time I used this bread recipe from Karen Cooks.
If you hop on over to her blog, you will see that my loaves don't look much like hers.  Mine were just a little on the dense side. Still tasty, but not what I wanted.  I did my best to get it warm in the kitchen.

I even did that trick where you turn the oven on to heat it up and then turn it off and let the dough rise in the warmed oven.  The bread did rise, but just maybe not as much as it should have.  Also, I'm wondering if maybe I kneaded it too long.  Is there even such a thing?  I have so little knowledge about the science of how bread works.  I really am clueless.

As the title of the post indicates, I made this bread into garlic bread. I forgot to snap a pic before I served the finished product to a ravenous crowd, so you'll just have to use your imagination. I used this recipe for garlic bread from Simply Scratch.  I didn't have any shallots or fresh parsley, so I just left those out.

The recipe from Simply Scratch says it is for 1 loaf of Italian bread, but as my loves were a tad on the small side, I used two.  Even with using two loaves I had a lot of the butter mixture that melted off onto my foil lined pan in the broiler.  Even though there was less butter per slice than the original recipe, the bread was still as buttery and garlic-y as it should have been.

Blockette said it was better than store bought frozen garlic bread, which always makes me smile.

Crusty French Bread - From Karen Cooks
2 ¼ tsp dry yeast
2 cups warm water
6 cups flour
2 T sugar
2 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
Cornmeal for dusting the pans
1 egg white
1 T cold water

Fit stand mixer with paddle attachment. Pour water into mixer bowl and add yeast. Stir to dissolve. Add sugar, oil and salt. Mix on low for 30 seconds. Mix in 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix on medium until all flour has been incorporated. Add an additional 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix until all flour has been incorporated. Change to dough hook and knead on medium until dough is smooth and elastic, or about 8 minutes. Dough will be sticky. Place dough in a large greased bowl and turn to coat. Cover and place in a warm place to rise until doubled, about an hour.

When dough has doubled, punch it down, cover and let rise again for 30 minutes. Punch dough down again and knead for 1 minute on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12x9 rectangle. Roll up jelly roll fashion and pinch the seam together. Tuck ends underneath.Line baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place bread on parchment, cover and rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Make evenly spaced diagonal cuts on top of each loaf. Beat egg white and water together and brush over each loaf of bread with a pastry brush. Place a pan of hot water on bottom shelf of the oven. Place baking sheet with loaves on shelf above water. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from baking pans and cool on wire racks.

Parmesan Garlic Bread from Simply Scratch
1 loaf of Italian Bread
2 stick of Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature
3 cloves of Garlic {two if large}, pressed
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Shallots, minced
1 tablespoons Parsley, minced
Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste

Combine garlic, shallots, parsley, salt, black pepper, softened butter and Parmesan. Mix until all the ingredients are combined. Slice the Italian loaf lengthwise and heavily smear half of the butter mixture on each of the halves. Place under broiler and toast until golden and crispy, rotating the pan if necessary, about 5-8 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn!


  1. The loaves look good! I *love* this recipe and make it every couple of weeks. Each time it comes out better, so it just takes practice. My kitchen is so cold in the winter that I use the oven to let it rise, too. Garlic bread, mmm!

  2. So all I need is more practice? Oh darn. Guess that means lots and LOTS of bread! YAY!


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