Saturday, January 31, 2009

Garlic Bread

Sometimes I happen to forget about dough in the fridge, left over from pizza making, which then sours and starts looking nasty, or inviting, depending on your view of hooch. When you think about it, this is just another take on sourdough - fermenting wheat flour. There is no real characteristic sourness to this particular loaf. But it does have a hardish crust without fooling around with squirt guns blasting water into the oven walls every five minutes to create steam and a hard crust. It also is moist and tender inside and smells wonderful when baking.

A bonus to having dough sitting around in the fridge, is that a fresh baked loaf can be made quite quickly for a mid-week meal. This loaf I made yesterday afternoon. Buff polished off about half after school and the rest disappeared at supper. Had I remembered it earlier in the week it may have become cinnamon raisin sticky buns but was, in my opinion, past that, so savoury it became.

Chunks of broken cheddar would have been good in this too, with or without the garlic. I also had a bit, less than a 1/4 pound, of frozen dough which happened to have some whole wheat in it, which I let thaw and added to this particular loaf. To get the base for this bread, go to basic white dough to learn how I do that and click back to sourdough for a bread primer if help is needed in bread making basics.

Garlic Bread - 1 long loaf or 2 smallish loaves or 16 - 20 little buns - just remember the bake times will vary - approximately 30 min. for the long loaf, 20 min. for the smaller loaves and 15 minutes for rolls.
  • 2 - 2 1/4 pounds white bread dough
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley flakes
  • some flour to knead with
  • cornmeal and lard to prepare baking pan bottom
Let 2 pounds of bread dough sit zip locked in the refrigerator for a week. Actually, fresh dough will work, but the crust will be softer. The dough was a little sticky so I put down some flour on the work surface and patted out the dough. Then I added 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, about 2 heaping Tbsp. of parsley flakes
and started to fold the dough over onto itself and knead.
Then I remembered that I'd forgotten the fresh garlic. So I added 1 fat clove of minced garlic and started folding the dough over onto itself
and kneaded that in, adding some more flour to the work surface and kneading a little longer, making sure the garlic and parsley were well distributed.
Then I shaped the dough into a long log
and transferred it to one of my lovely pristine flexible foil pans, greased with lard and coated with some cornmeal. This dough is very soft, so to keep the bread from spreading out, the dreaded bread spread, prop the sides up. Push the long sides of the pan upward toward the sides of the dough creating a crevice wherein the bread lies cradled.

I used my stock pot on one side and a crock pot on the other to support the pan sides. It doesn't look pretty, but works. Professionals do essentially the same thing with well floured linen sheets, corrugated up alongside the dough. That, and each loaf resting closely to the next, separated only by the floured linen help keep the shape while rising.
They then use paddles to slide the risen bread into ovens. We will just let our dough rise about an hour in a warm place and bake on the same flexible foil pan. The dough will fill the length of the crevice. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Just before putting the loaf into the oven, gently pull the pan sides back a bit. Bake about 30 minutes or until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool on rack.


Jeanne said...

Fabulous recipes
I love all you share.
Love Jeanne

Decadent Housewife said...

Thanks, Jeanne. Hope the wedding Sat. went well.

Richard D said...

That looks so good!! I think I need to visit.

Decadent Housewife said...

Click the links, Richard, click the links. You can do html, making this would be far easier!

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