Hello again bread lovers. Welcome to my yeast filled world. I was going to start a super healthy version for you last night, but then I realized I needed a garlic bread to go with lunch today. So he we are again with a white bread detour. But I assure you, it’s a good one and a staple for any home. At least I think?
If you want a simple garlic bread you can make yourself then this might be the one for you. This one is really just the standard rustic white bread from my very first post in this no knead series, with the addition of garlic. It’s so simple. I will write out all the same instructions again for easy reference and show you how to elevate this simple bread with yet another variation. A great one, at that!
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon active dry yeast
1 ½ cups water – at room temperature
1/2 cup minced garlic
2 heaping teaspoons dried parsley
In a big bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast together. Add in the fresh minced garlic and the parsley. Pour water into the bowl and using a spatula or a wooden spoon mix it until well incorporated.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12 to 18 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 F degrees. Add your cast iron pot/similar to the oven as it’s heating and heat it as well until it’s at 450 F degrees. If using a bread cloche, just put the lid in the oven to heat up.
Remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid from it. If you want to make sure your bread doesn’t stick to the pot you can sprinkle some flour or cornmeal on the bottom of the pot. (Note – You can also spray with olive oil cooking spray!) If using a cloche, line it with parchment paper.
Flour your hands really well and also sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough. With your floured hands gently remove the dough from the bowl and roughly shape it into a ball for a round baking dish, or an oblong shape for a long bake dish. Take the ball of dough and drop it into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and place it back in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, after which remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
If using a bread cloche, bake for 50-55 minutes with the lid on the entire time. Do not remove it.
Remove the bread from the pot, it should fall out easily. Let cool completely before slicing into it and serving.
Here’s how it turns out:
Get out a large mixing bowl and add in your flour, salt and yeast, garlic and parsley. I know it seems like a lot of garlic, but it’s really not. It is garlic bread after all, and you really want that big punch of flavor in every slice you cut and butter. Right? Right! If you don’t want your breath to smell too bad, or don’t need to fend off vampires where you live, you could always put in less.
Then pour in your water and mix well with a wooden spoon. Your dough will look and feel very wet and sticky. It should. You don’t want it dry. If it is wet looking and sticking to everything, you’ve done it right. If you do see that it is a bit on the dry side, add in a tablespoon more of water at a time until it’s just right.
Cover this with plastic wrap and leave it on your counter for 12-18 hours. You’ll want to think ahead about that before you start. I usually mix this up mid afternoon for a morning bake the next day.
Then next day…..your dough will have gotten nice and active overnight and will sometimes triple in size. This is why you want a large mixing bowl to start with. It should look puffy and bubbly and still look very wet and sticky.
Get your oven preheated to 450 degrees. Get out your dutch oven or you can also use one of these – a standard corningware dish. This is what I used for a long time and it worked great.
I am going to use what I always use, which is my bread cloche. I will link to an older post I wrote about what this cloche does here if you would like more information. I love it and I will never use anything else now that I have tried it! I only heat the lid up in the oven with the cloche.
I then line it with parchment paper every time. The dough will stick otherwise and this cloche isn’t something you wash or clean like a normal bake dish.
Then flour your hands and do your best to get that dough out of the bowl without handling it too much. We want to keep all the lightness and bubbles in there as much as possible. My method is to use both floured hands and sort of scoop the dough on both sides of the bowl, go all the way down and get your hands right around and under the bottom to get the whole thing in the middle of both of your hands. Quickly lift it out, roughly shape it and put it directly into your baking dish. Mine is the oblong cloche so I just sort of pulled it long and dropped it in. I don’t do much to make it pretty. It will do it’s own thing while baking.
Then put the lid back on your baking dish and pop er’ in the oven. If you are using a corningware dish or dutch oven, follow the instructions above. I’m using my cloche, so I will bake it for 55 minutes without taking the lid off.
55 minutes later, I pulled it out of the oven and it’s another winner. But you know what was really great about this one? The smell. I know that all bread really smells wonderful while it’s baking, and it’s probably my favorite smell in the world, but when you add a little garlic in there, wow! It’s divine.
As always, carefully take it out of the baking dish and let it cool on a rack for a couple of hours. Don’t give into the smell and temptation of cutting this bread while it’s still very warm. All of the purposely trapped steam under that beautiful crispy crust will all rush out and you’ll lose the most important part of what makes it moist and light and airy. Please trust me on this!
But once it’s totally cooled on it’s own, don’t be shy. I slice into these things like I’m Norman Bates and it’s my last meal at the ol’ motel. And then put the butter on it. Garlic bread needs a lot of butter.
You can see the garlic spread throughout and the little sprinkling of parsley, more for color than anything. I should also tell you here that I like to switch it up about half the time and use rosemary instead of parsley a lot. It really changes the flavor and I would suggest it to go along with a nice pasta, or just a bread you want to dip in oil and vinegar type thing. It’s a great alternative!
Once again, another staple bread that so many of us eat, that you can easily make at home, that has no preservatives, all the ingredients are fresh and probably inside your pantry right now, and the delicious factor is through the roof.
Lastly, I will say again that with these types of bread, they are only going to last about 2 days with total softness and freshness. If you aren’t going to eat the loaf in that amount of time, cut it in half, wrap one half with plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag and freeze it. Thaw it out on your counter completely uncovered when you need it again. It will totally come back to life. The other half can stay out on your counter, cut side down on a cutting board for at least two days. Don’t be tempted to cover it with plastic wrap. It will ruin the crust and take away the freshness of the inside. The crust will keep the inside safe for you. Trust it.
And trust me. Make it. Eat it. You don’t want to provoke Norman Bates.
– The Homesteaders Wife