A much more subtle bread than the sharp, surface-roasted flavors of minced garlic and olive oil in classic Italian garlic bread preparations. Roasting a whole head of garlic intact gives the garlic a warm, rounded flavor that is baked into this bread, not just spread onto the surface.
Makes: 1 boule loaf
Time: About 3 hours, mostly unattended
3 cups of unbleached white bread flour
1.5 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1.5 teaspoons of Kosher salt
1.25 cups of lager beer
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 large bulb of garlic, roasted & cloves removed, oil reserved*
3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Mix all ingredients in a mixer, or by hand. Mix for 3 minutes in a mixer; about 5 minutes by hand.
- The dough should form a sticky ball after a minute of mixing. In a mixer the dough should be moist enough to stick to the sides and bottom of the mixer bowl, but should still mostly form a sticky ball on the dough hook, not a heavy batter or a smooth-surfaced ball entirely stuck to the bread hook of the mixer. Add beer in .25 cup increments if the dough seems too dry. Add .25 cup flour if it seems to be runny and batter-like after a few minutes of mixing.
- Spray Pam into a stainless steel bowl, and scoop the dough into the bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 2 hours.
- Use the Dutch oven baking method for the best results.
See my general notes on yeast bread baking for more information on what brands of ingredients and equipment I use. Also, I have notes on the Dutch-oven bread baking method that I usually use for this bread.
To produce this twisted bread pattern:
- After the first rise, gently knead the bread down, and form the dough into a thick line about 15 inches long
- Twist the line of dough like a candy cane to produce the twist pattern.
- Form the twisted rope of dough into an “O” circle shape, tucking the ends under the middle of the circle.
- Set the dough form into a Pyrex pie plate for the final rise, as shown in the Dutch oven baking instructions.
- I do not slash the dough when I use this twist pattern.
*For the roasted garlic cloves
- Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 400°F to roast the garlic head.
- Slice the top off a head of garlic so that most of the large cloves within show an exposed upper surface.
- Place the clove of garlic in a small oven-safe dish. I use small Pyrex 6 ounce (175 ml) clear glass bowls for this purpose. You can find them in any kitchen supply store and in most supermarkets, and the bowls hold a large head of garlic perfectly for roasting.
- Pour the olive oil over the head of garlic, being particularly sure to drench all the exposed clove surfaces with oil. As the olive oil runs off the head it should collect in the bowl and form a pool around the head, with the surface at about one third the height of the clove. Add oil if necessary.
- Place the dish and garlic head into the oven and roast it for about 30 minutes, until the surface of the cloves is a golden brown.
- Remove the garlic head from the oven and, with a fork, remove the garlic head from the glass dish and set it on a plate to cool. Allow it to cool about 15 minutes, until you can handle it comfortably.
- Use a small paring knife to pop the roasted cloves out of the head of garlic.
- Add the cloves of garlic, plus 1-2 tablespoons of the roasted garlic olive oil into the mixing bowl of your mixer.