It goes without saying that Garlic Bread is one of the most popular and loved breads out there, not just in India, but even globally. You can use it to make amazing open sandwiches, bruschetta and much more. It is also an amazing accompaniment to salads, soups, pizzas and pastas.
So, here’s how to make the perfect garlic bread loaf in your home kitchen:
You will knead:
Whole Wheat Flour (Atta) – 219 g (US 1.5 cup)
Water (at room temperature) – 129 ml (US 1/2 cup)
Garlic (peeled cloves) – 20 cloves (2 tbsp)
Oil for roasting garlic
Fresh Yeast – 8 g (1 tsp) or Dry yeast – 4 g (½ tsp)
Salt – 7 g (1.5 tsp)
Sugar – 9 g (2 tsp)
Oil – 7 g (1 tsp)
How to make it:
1. Spread the garlic cloves on a baking tray and pour some oil over them ensuring that all of them are evenly covered in oil. Bake at 180 ˚C in a preheated oven for 15-20 mins until the raw smell dissipates and the cloves become slightly soft.
2. Cool the roasted garlic and mash it with a fork.
3. Weigh all the ingredients accurately and put them all together, except for garlic, in a large mixing bowl.
4. Attach the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer and start mixing at speed 1 for around 3 minutes until all the ingredients are just incorporated together.
5. Increase the speed to 2 and mix for another 5 minutes till the gluten gets developed and the dough comes together. Be careful not to undermix or overmix. Do a ‘window test’ to see whether the dough has been mixed enough by taking a small piece of the dough and spreading it into a thin rectangle with your fingers. The dough should be slightly translucent and should spread enough such that you should be able to see your fingers through the dough film without it tearing in the middle.
6. Add the mashed garlic to this dough and mix at speed 1 for around 1-2 minutes or until it is just incorporated into the dough.
7. Shape the dough roughly into a ball and transfer it to a slightly greased bowl with oil. Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and keep it in a warm place for proving for about 60-90 minutes or until the dough has doubled in volume. The dough should be wobbly and spring back when pressed lightly with fingers.
8. Now that the dough has fermented, divide the dough into two equal halves of 200 g each using a bench knife. Handle the dough carefully and as less as possible otherwise it will get degassed. Shape the divided pieces by pulling the dough from the sides and onto the top. Then flip them over such that the smooth side is facing upwards and then round the dough into a ball using your pinky fingers and the bottom of your palms. Flour your hands and work surface as and when needed but use as little flour as possible.
9. Rest this pre-shaped dough for around 20-40 minutes until it has increased in volume and has become even wobblier.
10. Take the proved pre-shaped dough and flip it so that the smooth side is at the bottom. Now take the top of the dough and gently pull it into the middle of the dough using your thumb such that the top 1/3rd portion has a long rolled shape. Press it using the bottom of your palm to seal it. Take this rolled portion and roll it into the middle again as mentioned above such that 2/3rd of the dough is now shaped. Roll this into the remaining 1/3rd of the dough and seal it in a similar manner. Finally, use your fingers to gently roll the shaped dough into the desired length (approximately the length of both your palms). Take this final-shaped dough and place it seam-side down on a baking tray (or a baguette tray, if you have one). Let it rest for around 20–30 minutes till it almost doubles in volume.
11. Take a scorer or a sharp blade and score your desired pattern on the top surface.
12. Finally, keep the dough for baking in a pre-heated oven at 240 ˚C for around 20-25 minutes. Bake till you get the desired dark colour on the crust and the base of the bread.13. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for a few hours until the inside of the bread reaches room temperature. Slice it and serve.