Rustic garlic bread
The fastest way to bake crusty, soft on the inside, mouth-watering bread.
There’s something about homemade bread that just makes our problems disappear. I remember once, while visiting my grandfather, he sat me down in the kitchen and proceeded to bake a simple, yet heavenly loaf of bread. You’d think, what’s the big deal – it’s just bread. Nope. All my grandfather’s love for me, along with his lifelong role modeling of do-it-yourself-and-it’s-so-much-better were stuffed into that crusty, warm slice of life.
If you’ve got a bit of time on your hands and a lucky recipient in mind for your thoughtfulness, go ahead and try this recipe. You’ll thrill your family and friends, and show them (and yourself) that even in this modern era of ready-made everything, you can still choose to bake your own bread.
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 5 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (white whole wheat will also work)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cups warm water
- 15-20 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- Dash of dried herbs, such as thyme, parsley, basil (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375º F.
Coat garlic cloves with olive oil and spread on baking sheet.
Bake until cloves are very light golden, about 10 minutes (stir cloves after 5 minutes), and remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350º.
In a small bowl, mix yeast with 1 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar.
While yeast is proofing, in a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt, oil and remaining sugar and water. Add yeast mixture and knead until smooth with a wooden spoon or your hands. Add roasted garlic cloves, and any other desired herbs or seasonings.
Form into two oval shapes and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Allow to rise for 30 minutes. Use sharp, oiled knife (spray with Pam) to make several parallel slits in the top of each loaf, no more than 1” deep and an inch apart. Bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes. Serve with olive and roasted red pepper dip and a salad of mixed greens.
Note: If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven before preheating and bake loaves directly on it for an even crunchier crust.