Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Bread

Instagram is a killer for unnecessary hunger pangs.

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I can be scrolling away, not one little bit hungry at all and then I see a very very tasty image of a pastry, or a cake, or a doughnut, or… well, anything that is carb related and beautifully shot it seems, and just like that – i’m hungry.

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Hungry for whatever it was that my eyes have just landed on.

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This bake was a product of exactly that occurrence.

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I was scrolling away and suddenly hit a post by Peony Lim who had just baked a Roast Garlic Bread. That was it. I needed to bake it. I was thinking about it all week, so, as the weekend rolled around, I made sure I topped up my Strong White Bread flour in the weekly shop and looked up her blog post (here) to find the recipe.

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Her post doesn’t actually come with a bread recipe, it’s more about the flavour combo’s, so whilst the whole garlic bulb baked in the oven, I headed to my trusty GBBO baking bible and dug out a white loaf recipe a la Paul Hollywood.

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Below is my Bitesize Bakehouse combination of the two recipes:

1 garlic bulb
1 healthy “glug” of olive oil
800g* strong white bread flour
7g sachet of dried fast action yeast
1 tsp salt
450g warm water
A sprig of rosemary
Sea salt

*This is 100g more than the GBBO recipe but I find my dough comes out too sticky without this addition

Pop the garlic bulb in a loaf tin with that healthy glug of oil and roast it at 200 degrees for around 15 mins. Take it out and let it cool on the side for a little while. Keep that tin and all its garlicky oily goodness for later.

Weigh out the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food mixer and make a well. Pour in the water and mix together with the dough hook attachment until it is smooth and pliable. It shouldn’t be sticky, and it should have picked up all of the flour around the edge so there are no crumbly pieces. Mine took around 8 minutes on a medium-low speed. Lift out the dough and shape it into a ball, put it back in the bowl and then inside a plastic bag and leave it on the side to rise to double it’s size (in my warm kitchen it took around 45mins).

Whilst waiting for it to do it’s thing, peel away the skin (as best you can with a soft squidgy thing) of the baked garlic cloves, trying your level best not to eat them there and then.

Once doubled, take the dough out of the bag and punch the air out of it- just once- (way more fun than I think it should be) before lifting it out onto a lightly floured surface. This dough mix actually makes two loaves so I halved it at this point and set one lot aside (another flavoured loaf post is around the corner…).

Roll out the dough to a rough rectangle and smear across that roasted garlic (Peony had much better, intact, garlic cloves than me and therefore placed the cloves evenly across the dough. Mine looked like I’d had a fight with them on the way out of their skins – they were very mushy.  So I spread mine across the whole top side of the bread, leaving lumps in some areas but mostly evenly spread across the dough). Roll up the dough from one short end to the other so it looks like a swiss roll.

Using the tin from earlier, brush the oil up the sides to stop any sticking and pop the dough into it for its final rise. I left mine around 15 mins. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees and pop an additional tray at the bottom of the oven.

Once the loaf has finished plumping, stick the rosemary spring in the top and sprinkle generously with salt.

When you put your loaf in, pour a little water into that bottom tray to create a bit of steam.  Let it bake like this for 15 minutes. Then drop the temperature down to 200 degrees for around another 20 minutes or until the loaf looks golden.

Make sure it sounds hollow on the bottom when it comes out, and you are good to go!

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I wish you guys could smell these images. The roasted garlic that oozed out of every slice just made you want to eat the whole thing!

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For fear of my waist line, and an imminent carb-related-overdose, I sliced up the loaf and froze the majority of it. It wont stay fresh for long and I didn’t want to waste it. This way, we can just grab a slice when we feel like it, rather than forcing down a whole loaf between 2 in a couple of days.

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Thank you Peony Lim for the inspiration! It was exactly how I had expected it to taste when I first saw the image online. 🙂

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