Sunday, December 20, 2015

Garlic bread with herbs

Bread is my weakness. I couldn’t live without it even if I tried and my main meals have to include at least one slice or I can’t enjoy them. I’m not ashamed to say that I eat bread even with pasta or potatoes. Starch on starch. I know, shame on me, but I can’t help it.




I love making my own bread, as these recipes attest, but what I love even more is using it to make garlic bread, like this rustic one with herbs; because another thing that I can’t live without is garlic.


This is seriously good and seriously addictive and if you too are a bread lover like me, then I suggest you be careful when you make this or you may end up eating the whole loaf on your own.




It’s so easy to make; you slice the loaf into thick slices but not all the way down because you want to keep it in one piece, you mix some extra virgin olive oil with some good butter and the ever present Greek dried oregano, and slather each slice with the mixture. In between the slices you gently tuck some fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs, you wrap the loaf with aluminum foil and off it goes in the oven. You remove the foil to crisp it up a bit and voilà. The best garlic bread ever.


It has a crispy crust and a soft and moist crumb from the butter and olive oil, and it is deeply flavorful. The garlic is present yet not overpowering, while the herbs give a woody flavor and aroma. It is perfect as an accompaniment to Christmas meats (turkey, ham etc.) but also perfect with grilled steaks, burgers or lamb chops.







Garlic bread with herbs
Adapted from here

This is perfect warm from the oven, sliced and served at the table on a nice wooden board or on a big platter.

The quantities for this recipe are for a loaf of bread that is about 10 slices.




Yield: 1 garlic bread (about 10 slices)

Ingredients
1 loaf of crusty country bread (I used my own rye country bread)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
45 ml (3 Tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp Greek dried oregano
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Special equipment: large serrated knife, aluminum foil


Preparation
Preheat your oven to 200°C.

In a small plate or bowl, add the butter, olive oil, garlic, oregano and a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and using a fork mix everything to combine.


Using a large serrated knife cut the bread into thick-ish slices. Be careful not to go all the way down because you need the loaf to stay as a whole and the slices to stay attached at the bottom.

Using a butter knife, spread the butter-garlic mixture generously on both sides of each slice being careful not to detach the slices.
Tuck the thyme and rosemary sprigs in between the slices.

Wrap the loaf well with one large piece of aluminum foil and place on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Then turn the temperature up to 225°C, take the bread out of the oven, unwrap the foil to expose the top crust of the bread and return in the oven to crisp up the top, for further 10 minutes.

Note: Not all breads are the same, some have more moisture in them than others so after the initial 20 minutes of baking, unwrap and check if your bread is crispy on top. If it is, there’s no need to bake further. If it’s not crispy on top, then continue baking on the higher temperature for 10 more minutes.

Remove from the oven, discard the aluminum foil and serve immediately. Remove the herbs from in between the slices before eating. This bread is best served warm, but I’d never say not to it when it’s at room temperature either.


4 comments:

  1. Grear post! looks tasty and delicious

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  2. I will simply opt for the herbed butter, lest I kill myself! :) Merry Christmas, Magda, and all the best to you and S. for the New Year!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much David. Merry Christmas!!

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