Garlic Bread

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Garlic Bread

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Published prior to 2008

I'm sure we're all familiar with the typical white/squishy, butter-soaked type of garlic bread so prevalent in the '60s and '70s. In fact, I myself find it still a very tasty treat. But as the recipe's so simple, I decided to do here a '90s garlic bread -- still simple, but hopefully even more enjoyable. The bread is crustier, the garlic fresher, and olive oil as well as butter plays a major role. Serve this with your favorite tomato-sauce-based pasta dish, and you'll understand again why garlic and tomatoes are just so right together.

For improved texture and flavor, we start the bread with a biga, simply a piece of dough prepared the day before you want to bake your bread. This is an overnight bread, so be sure to begin it the day before you want to serve it.

1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon non-instant nonfat milk
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium head garlic, cloves separated and peeled (about 2 ounces, about 10 large cloves), finely minced*
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) olive oil
pinch of salt
4 ounces parmesan cheese, cut in chunks and grated (1 cup grated) parsley (if you like)
*A mini food processor is an invaluable tool for this task.

Manual/Mixer Method: In a small bowl, work together the biga ingredients -- 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast -- till they're well-combined, but not or kneaded. Cover the bowl, and allow the biga to rest overnight at room temperature.

Next day, combine the biga with the remaining dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stirring till the dough becomes cohesive, then kneading or stirring vigorously in the bowl till it becomes smooth. This is a very slack (wet) dough; don't try to add enough flour to make it kneadable on a work surface. If you have an electric mixer, knead it with the flat beater attachment for 5 to 8 minutes. If you're mixing by hand, use a bowl scraper and your hands to work it as best you can. It'll become smooth and will hold its shape somewhat, but will be very sticky. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the biga ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, program the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start. Cancel the machine as soon as the ingredients have formed a rough ball of dough, and all of the flour is incorporated.

Next day, add the remaining dough ingredients, program the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.

Shaping: Lightly grease a clean work surface, and transfer the dough to the greased work surface. Shape it into a rough 8 x 14-inch oval, and transfer it to a lightly greased baking sheet. (A half-sheet pan -- 18 x 13 inches -- is ideal for this. If you don't have a pan at least this large, divide the dough in half, make a couple of 4 x 14-inch ovals, and place them on two separate baking sheets.) Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil, and cover it; an acrylic dough cover is a great help here. If you use greased plastic wrap, it'll probably stick, so just be gentle pulling it off when the time comes.

Allow the dough to rise till it's very puffy and bubbly, about 3 hours at room temperature. Halfway through the rising time dimple the surface with your fingertips, assertively enough to leave marks, but not so vigorously that you deflate the dough completely.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spritz the surface of the dough with warm water, and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes, till it's golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and allow it to cool. Wrap it loosely in plastic overnight, or in a paper bag.

Assembly: Prepare the topping by combining the minced garlic cloves, melted butter, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Just before serving, cut the bread (or the two loaves, if you've made two) in half lengthwise, like you're going to make a giant sandwich. Spread the cut halves with the garlic mixture. Bake the bread in a preheated 400°F oven for about 10 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and the edges of the bread are starting to brown. Remove the bread from the oven, and sprinkle it immediately with the grated Parmesan and parsley, if desired. Yield: about 24 servings.


  • star rating 01/01/2013
  • NCbooknurse from KAF Community
  • Delicious! The recipe made enough to feed three hungry teenagers with a bit left for both parents. This is my first experience with a biga but I will definitely bake this again.
  • star rating 07/30/2012
  • hank264 from KAF Community
  • I was in a hurry to make this bread and did not have overnight. 14 people coming to dinner in 3 hours and I realized the cheese and garlic no knead flat bread I made would not stretch far enough. Looking at the recipe it seemed the first step was to similar to sourdough, so I pulled my trusty KA sourdough out of the fridge. I had just fed it the night before after using it to make 20 sourdough english muffins for the week. It's a white whole wheat starter. (I have yet to throw out a cup of my sourdough starter... just not in my nature so once a week I make SOMETHING with it!) I put 8 ounces into my ZO, mixed in 115 degree water, the sugar, and instant yeast. Gave that about 15 minutes then added the rest of the ingredients and set the ZO on a custom program to knead for 20 minutes then rise for an hour. Once the ZO kicked into high mixing speed I added just enough AP flour to let this slack dough pull away from the sides, but not make the firm dough ball I usually look for. After the hour of rise I split the dough in 1/2 and put each half onto a sheet of parch paper that I had sprayed with Pam. Shaped it to about 4x13.5 so I could use two 9x13 pans as proofing covers. An hour later it was getting to crunch time. The eggplant parm just came out of the oven and was going to rest for about 20 min. The dough had proofed to a bit puffy and now was the time. I cranked up the oven to 475 with my pizza stone in it. (Pizza stone is ALWAYS in my oven). I trimmed down the parchment paper so both loaves would fit on one baking sheet. Into the oven for 13 minutes to about 180 degrees internal temp and browning nicely. I then brushed them with garlic butter and returned to the oven for about 2 minutes. Internal temp 195. Pulled it, immediately cut to serving size pieces. Texture and crust were perfect. Evidence of nice CO2 bubbles in the bread kept it light. Folks raved about it. The manchego cheese and garlic no knead flat bread and both of these loaves, along with a 14x20 pan of eggplant parm disappeared in a matter of minutes! (9 medium eggplants and a gallon of homemade veggie ragu, with 3 lbs of different cheeses in it- YUM) Followed up with KA recipe for German Chocolate Cake served with espresso. NICE.
  • star rating 01/23/2011
  • shasha120 from KAF Community
  • I really don't know what happened BUT I followed the recipe exactly but when proofing (my new stove has this option) the dough just spread out and rose only slightly!! I could smell the yeasty aroma but how does one make garlic bread out of a glob of dough????
    Sounds like it's time to call the bakers hotline so we can go over the recipe and your method. We look forward to hearing from you. MJR @ KAF
  • star rating 04/07/2009
  • Roy from Southern Oregon Coast
  • I make it a little dryer dough than called for. The bread turns out as the best bread I've ever baked. It proofs way up, is crusty and very moist and delishious. I bake alot of bread and this is my favorite.