Garlic-Infused Italian Bread

by Jessica on November 11, 2010

Garlic-Infused Italian Bread

I’m a sucker for a good loaf of bread. Not the bags of Wonder bread at the grocery store, mind you. I’m talking golden, handmade, artisan breads from places like Central Market, Whole Foods and Market Street (who, by the way, makes THE best loaf of sourdough East of San Fransisco… no lie).

So, when I saw this Italian bread, I knew I had to give it a try. And what better way to do that, than to infuse it with a little garlic? It can put a mean spin on your breath, but I could eat the stuff all day long. I love it that much! My braid’s a little wonky at the edges, but who cares what it looks like when it tastes so amazing! It’s just what you’d call ‘rustic’, right?? 😉

Garlic-Infused Italian Bread 2

Garlic-Infused Italian Bread
Adapted from: The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion

Sponge:
1 c cool water, about 65 degrees F
2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp instant yeast

Dough:
1/2 c cool water, about 65 degrees F
2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1-1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
1 egg white mixed with 1 tbsp water

The Sponge:
Combine all of the sponge ingredients, mixing just until a cohesive dough forms. Allow it to rest, covered, for 12 to 16 hours at room temperature. When the sponge is ready, it will be filled with large holes and bubbles.

The Dough:
Add the water to the sponge and mix until smooth. Add the flour, yeast, salt and garlic, and knead the dough till it’s fairly smooth but not necessarily elastic, about 3 minutes by machine, or 5 minutes by hand. (The gluten will continue to develop as the dough rises, so you don’t want to develop it fully during the kneading process.) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1-1/2 hours. To help develop the gluten and distribute the yeast’s food, turn the dough twice during the rising time: gently fold all four sides into the middle, and turn the dough over.

Divide dough in thirds, and roll each third into a 20-inch-long rope. Braid ropes together. Set the braid on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until just puffy. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Gently brush the braid with the beaten egg white mixture and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Garlic-Infused Italian Bread 3

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dinetonite November 11, 2010 at 9:17 am

Your site is fast becoming one of my favourites – thanks so much for these great recipes.

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2 Eliana November 11, 2010 at 9:52 am

This looks glorious! Anything with garlic is a winner in my book 🙂

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3 Debra November 11, 2010 at 12:47 pm

This looks awesome! I’ll definitely have to give it a whirl!

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4 Kelsey @ King Arthur Flour November 12, 2010 at 12:50 pm

This bread is delicious! Your pictures (and site) are beautiful. Food photography is one of my favorite things 🙂

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5 Patty November 25, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I looooove garlic bread – yours is beautiful! I’d double or triple the garlic – yum. 🙂

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6 Susan July 11, 2015 at 1:21 pm

i want to do this and add grated chest to the dough. Do you think that would work?

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7 Susan July 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm

Sorry I meant cheese! Not chest!! Thanks!

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8 Jessica July 27, 2015 at 1:22 pm

Absolutely! I love breads with grated cheese added to the dough. Here’s an example of one I’m pretty fond of: http://mybakingheart.com/2012/03/28/cheesy-blonde-lager-bread/
Let me know how it works out for you! 🙂

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9 sk February 17, 2016 at 7:49 am

If you want to do something different why not have a go at making breads

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