Friday, January 22, 2016

Lemony Garlic & Herb Bread

My aunt and uncle got me a gift card to a local olive oil and vinegar store (which has cooking classes!) for Christmas, and as usual, my aunt put together a beautiful little gift basket to go with it (thanks, Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Tom!). The basket had some fun spices in it, plus a little jar of chopped roasted garlic. I'd been meaning to play around with adding flavors to my go-to no-knead bread recipe, and this garlic seemed perfect for it. I added some lemon zest and dried parsley, and it was delicious!

Check out that crumb!


This bread, plus last post's chicken noodle soup, will make a lovely lunch for this week as I write, and write, and write to finish my proposal and paper...

Lemony Garlic & Herb Bread
Yield: Two one-pound loaves
Adapted from The Italian Dish

Ingredients
1.5 cups lukewarm water (100-110 degrees F)
1 tbsp active dry yeast OR 2.25 tsp (one standard 0.25-oz packet) instant yeast
2.25 tsp kosher or other coarse salt
1.25 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat (or regular whole wheat) flour
1 cup bread flour1
0.75-1 tsp dried, chopped roasted garlic2
1 tsp dried parsley
Zest of half a lemon (about 0.5 tsp)

  1. If using active dry yeast, mix yeast and water in a 2.5-quart (or larger) container and let sit 10 minutes until foamy. A container with a lid is preferable, but you can also use a metal or glass bowl (something plastic wrap will stick to). If using instant yeast, combine yeast, water, and salt in the container or bowl, no need to proof the yeast.
  2. Dump in the flour, garlic, parsley, and lemon zest and stir to combine until there are no pockets of flour. The dough will look like a shaggy, wet mess.
  3. Mostly cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap, and let sit until doubled, about 2 hours3. From this point, you can use the dough or refrigerate it for later. I prefer to refrigerate it because it makes the dough easier to work with.
  4. Shape each half of the dough into a ball (or just make one loaf at a time) and let rest on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet or cutting board for 30-40 minutes. During the last 20 minutes, preheat a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven at 450 degrees F (if using a baking sheet, you may only want to do 10 minutes or so).
  5. Once the dough has rested, dust with flour and slash with a sharp knife. You can do a cross for a boule, parallel slashes, or any other pattern you want. This is so the gas can escape as the bread cooks, but it also makes it look super fancy.
  6. Slide the bread, leaving it on the parchment, onto the stone or baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is deep brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
  7. Allow to cool on a baking sheet before slicing and enjoying with soup, olive oil and sea salt, or just plain. Or, you know, rip off a piece the moment it's cool enough to touch.
Notes:

  1. You can use just all purpose flour here, or half all purpose and half bread flour. I found the dough is sturdier and easier to handle with some bread and/or whole wheat flour, but I've made it loads of times with only all purpose flour and it's come out just fine.
  2. Using a whole teaspoon will give you a pretty garlicky bread. If you're not as crazy about garlic, use the lower amount or even 0.5 tsp. I haven't tried this using fresh roasted garlic, but I suspect it would still be great. You'd just have to play with the amounts a bit, likely.
  3. Letting the dough rise for longer is fine. In fact, it develops more flavor the longer it sits. The main thing is to keep it mostly covered to prevent it from developing too hard of a skin on top.

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