Garlic Bread

It’s only really social if everyone partakes of garlic bread, just make sure you’ve a packet of extra strong mints handy for the day after as well.

I love a nice piece of garlic bread, but I don’t like the minuscule pizza parlour variety that’s about the same size as a small side plate, or the soggy mess that you get from using the prepared French sticks available in the supermarkets.   I miss the round garlic breads I used to get about 20 years ago when I was in college, the closest I get to those are the stone-baked round garlic breads, which are I find are very thin and a little too crispy when cooked.

To resolve the issues I have with them all I often make garlic bread from scratch.  To do that I’ll use two methods, one involves pizza dough and the other utilises fresh bread.  If I’m using a pizza dough, then the basic ingredients are pretty much the same as for bread, except for the proportions and I’ll substitute sunflower oil for olive oil.

When I was working in London back in the 1990’s I used to make a garlic bread almost every time there was a gathering of friends.  At the time I used to make it with White Rye Bread, the flavour of the bread is able to compete with the strong flavour of the garlic and I still think it’s the best bread to make garlic bread with.

Preparing the Garlic Butter

  • 1 tsp chopped Oregano
  • 1 tsp chopped Parsley
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Enough Butter to spread on your slices or to coat your pizza base
    about 100g/3½oz should do the trick
  1. Peel the garlic, it’s easiest to use the broad blade of the knife over the close and press down firmly on the knife.
  2. Slice or press your garlic
  3. mix in with the butter and herbs

To make using Pizza Dough

  1. Brush the pizza dough with olive oil, alternatively use some chilli oil but let people know you’ve used some.
  2. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon spread your garlic butter over the surface leaving about an inch clear at the edge of the dough to allow the crust to form.

To make using bread

  1. Slice the loaf into medium-sized slices but don’t slice all the way through the loaf, leave about a cm or two at the bottom.
  2. Part the slices and spread your garlic butter on each side rejoining the slices once done.
  3. Wrap the loaf in foil, shiny side against the loaf.

Cook in a hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes (gas 5/190C/375F).

One of the other things I do is to brush the top of the loaf with any remaining garlic butter and sprinkle poppy seeds over the top of the rye bread.  You can use sesame seeds as well but I think the rye bread looks better with the poppy seeds.

If you’re using a pizza dough, you can create a cheese garlic bread by topping it with grated cheeses such as Mozzarella and Cheddar, or slices of goats cheese or blue cheese.  The only way to do that with a loaf is to mix grated cheese into the butter for spreading or to separate the slices and toast it under a grill spread with the garlic butter and cheese.

You can make your garlic butter in advance and freeze it if you want to, just treat it as any other herb butter and shape it using cling-film or portion it out ready for future

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5 Responses to Garlic Bread

  1. Jan says:

    I love garlic bread and I just made herbed pizza dough yesterday. I’ve taken it out of the fridge with the plan to shape it into pizza rounds when it warms to room temp. Now my plan is to make garlic bread out of part of it. Maybe a few twisty garlic bread sticks and some palm-sized rounds for snacking.
    I’m going to try your White Rye Bread recipe too. Sounds larrupin!

    • Mark says:

      Do you know I’ve never thought of adding herbs to a pizza dough, seems odd really considering I’m more than happy adding things to bread dough. I think that’s a fantastic suggestion and the next time I’m making one I think I’ll try it out. Thank you 🙂

      • Jan says:

        You’re welcome! The herbs aren’t noticeable when you’re eating the toppings, but it makes the crust much more interesting. I used quantities called for in a bread recipe: 1/2 t rosemary, 1/4 t thyme, 1/4 t basil, but all the amounts were way overflowing when I made it. I put the dried herbs in a mortar and pestle to crush them. (I hate getting rosemary twigs in my teeth.) Then, since I was out of regular garlic, I added 1/2 t garlic granules (again overflowing). Mmmmm.

  2. Pingback: A Brief History Of Garlic Bread In Italian Food | Best Foods Blogs

  3. jim says:

    Garlic bread sounds awesome!
    For a great guide on growing your own garlic see below.


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