Soft, Buttery Garlic Bread

I’ve clicked through so many links and seen so many recipes for garlic bread all these years, and invariably I’ll be disappointed because the ingredients will expect you to have a loaf of French bread lying around at home, that you cut and smother with garlic butter and bake in the oven. There is no magical appearance of French bread loaves at home. If I need a baguette, I have to make one.

When I saw this recipe for a pull-apart garlic bread and the photographs, it all looked amazing. I was completely prepared for disappointment, but instead I was pleasantly surprised. This was super easy to make, and very forgiving and oh-so-delicious! I never have to search or click through to another garlic bread recipe again!

Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

(From Martha Stewart!)

For the dough:

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 cup warm water

For the filling:

  • 8 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, finely minced
  • 2 tsp chilli powder or red pepper flaked (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

You will need Two 9″x11″ loaf pans. Or I’m sure any size loaf pans will do, though I haven’t tried any others.

To make the dough:

Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Keep aside for 5 minutes until bubbly.

On the dough hook, add butter, milk, salt and eggs to the yeast mixer. Mix on a low speed (#2) until combined. Add the flour a little bit at a time and continue mixing until the dough comes together. When the flour is all added in, increase speed to medium and continue kneading with the dough hook for 5 minutes.

Alternatively, you can do the above step by hand but increase the kneading time to 8 minutes, or until the dough feels soft and elastic.

Make the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or muslin cloth, and keep aside for 2 hours until doubled in size. You could refrigerate the dough at this point, but bring dough to room temperature before proceeding.

Combine all the ingredients for the filling.

Lightly grease two loaf pans and keep aside.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a rectangle (approximately 12″x16″ rectangle – coincidentally I realized that my Silpat mat was exactly that size). Spread the filling mixture, using an offset spatula (I found a butter knife worked really well).

Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough lengthwise into 3 equal strips and horizontally into 4 equal sections. (This first time I did it, I made this very exact, the next few times, I just sorta made sure they were approximately equally sized and i got a lot more rectangles. So don’t worry too much about the measurements).

Fold each square in half and place 6 in each loaf pan, the cut ends up.

Cover pans with plastic wrap or cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.

Place the loaves in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans. Take out the loaves from the pan after 10 minutes and serve warm.

Leftover bread can be wrapped in aluminum foil and left at room temperature for a day. Warm before serving. But trust me, you won’t have any leftovers. 🙂

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