Braided Garlic Herb Bread
Description: There’s nothing like a bowl of soup or a plate of pasta with a side of garlic bread. I love this recipe of garlic bread as it not only looks great, but also tastes fantastic with a crispy crust, layers of garlic, herb butter and super light and fluffy inside. It looks like a lot of work but is very easy indeed to put the braid together. This bread can be frozen for 3 months or can even stay good in the refrigerator for a week. You can reheat it in the oven if you like it toasted or crispy, otherwise it can be reheated in the microwave too if you like it soft.
Ingredients for the dough:
- 3 &1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 7 grams active dry yeast (one packet)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 beaten egg
- 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
For the filling:
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 4 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (Can even use rosemary, thyme, basil or oregano – these have strong flavours so use 2 tbsp)
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup parmesan, grated (optional).
Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl and leave it aside for 5-10 minutes.
Once the yeast is activated and the mixture becomes foamy, gradually mix in the egg, lukewarm milk, half of flour and salt. The reason we add half the flour at this stage is because the butter we add in the next step makes it difficult for gluten to form and also affects how flour absorbs the other liquids in the dough, which in result can impact the overall rise of the bread.
Add butter and the remaining flour. -Knead the dough into a smooth ball, adding flour as needed.
Cover and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour in a warm spot. Meanwhile, for the filling: combine all ingredients (except parmesan) in a bowl until you get a thick paste and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Once the dough is fermented to double its size, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to form a rectangle.
Spread the butter-garlic-herb filling over the dough and sprinkle parmesan over the top.
Roll the dough into a tube or a log lengthwise and pinch the seams together to seal the log. Slice the roll in half lengthwise and turn each half over so the garlic butter layers are facing upwards. Twist the two sides into a braid and again pinch together the two ends (Check my story/highlight for visual).
Grease a loaf pan and transfer the braided dough inside. Cover and allow to rise again for about 30 minutes.
Uncover and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Brush with oil once removed from the oven.