Blog Hop Wednesdays: Crusty Garlic Bread

Some flavors are shy..they take their own sweet time to mingle with your tastebuds. While others are flirtatious, they tease your senses, but never really become yours. And then there are few rare breed which become yours forever from the moment you savor them for the first time. Garlic Bread for me belonged to this rare category. Ever since I tasted it at Pizza Hut in India, about 10-12 years back, when the pizza chain came to India, I remember having taken to this new flavor with full fervor. And years later, I never miss having a bite of it, whenever we visit any pizzeria. 

So naturally I was excited when I decided to bake these crusty, garlicky, buttery bread for Blog Hop Wednesdays. That too when I was participating in it after so long. And honestly I missed being a part of it. After all how many times does one get an opportunity to know a fellow blogger and her blog so well. If you are wondering how..then let me recap this series for you. Blog Hop Wednesdays is a fun bi-monthly blogging event started by Radhika, in which paired bloggers cook and post a recipe from the partner blogger's blog. So for me it simply means to lesiurly browse through my partner's blog, to select a recipe to suit my mood, weather, occasion or simply the pantry!

So this time when I was paired with Priya Sreeram of Bon Appetite, I actually came to know her versatile recipe collection. I had a hard time choosing, since they were so many non-fussy and easy recipes to choose from. But as I wanted to test my new oven in the recently shifted apartment and also wanted to satisfy my tea time temptation, I settled for my favorite Garlic Bread. But honestly though I started from Priya's herbed garlicky butter for the filling in the bread, yet I used the King Arthur Flour's bread recipe, since I wanted to know the exact amount of water and was not sure if I needed to use milk while using instant yeast. 

Nevertheless I was so happy to get the perfect result - crunchy crust on the outside and a soft, chewy inside. Believe me the combination works great! Alas the pics are not doing justice ego it, since I've yet to create a corner in my apartment for taking food pics..yet to unpack my tripod and fabrics and yet to explore the best light situation out here. Till then try and see the best in this itself!!

Garlic Bread Recipe:

For garlic butter

Butter - 100 gm (Room temp - so soft, that pressing with a spoon leaves a hole in it)
Garlic - 3-4, peeled and minced/ grated
Salt & Pepper - as per taste
Dried/ Fresh herbs of choice - I used mix of dried oregano and thyme - 1/2 tbsp (or adjust as per liking)

Simply mix all ingredients well and set aside. You can keep in fridge and take out once the dough has doubled up and ready to roll.

                 (See the holes inside the bread..that's a sign of a good crusty bread)

For the bread: 

All purpose flour - 1 3/4 cup
Yeast - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp
Lukewarm water - 3/4 cup
Topping (Cumin, sesame, nigella, poppy seeds) - 1 tbsp

  1. In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix with a hand mixer, till it forms a dough. If its very sticky, dust some flour on it. 

  2. Now remove and keep it an oiled large bowl. Cover and keep it a warm place for an hour to double up.

  3. Once doubled, punch out the air, and roll it on well dusted surface in a rectangular shape. You will notice how soft the dough has become.

  4. Spread the garlic butter on the centre of the roll, leaving one inch on all sides. Reserve 1 tbsp of butter for topping.

  5. Now if bread is desired then simply fold it to double the layer. And if you want to make rolls, then roll the dough to form a log. And then cut them them into 6-8 pieces.

  6. Lightly grease a baking tray and place the bread/rolls. For rolls ensure they are spread apart, giving them ample space to rise. So ensure the tray is bigger than your bread/rolls.

  7. Spread a little herbed butter on top of rolls and sprinkle topping of your choice. I used poppy and nigella seeds.

  8. Now loosely cover the tray with plastic and leave it to rise for about 20 mins.

  9. Preheat the oven at 200C. And bake the bread for about 35-40 mins. You will know the bread is done when there's hollow sound when you tap the bottom of the bread.

  10. Enjoy warm slices of delicious garlic bread with tea, coffee or a side for dinner.

Note: Using egg wash will result in the perfect golden crust, ala bakery style.

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