Sunday, February 20, 2011

perfect garlic bread from scratch

difficulty level: rolling in her grave
yes, more garlic. you always need more. yes you do. shut up.
i haven't posted anything in a while, sorry about that. moving and drama and crap. i should have some pics of the new place up soon. the housewarming party went well. until i have something better to say, i give you PERFECT garlic bread:
you can do this with pre-made french bread if you're short on time but i really think it's worth it to do this from start to finish on a lazy afternoon. goes beautifully with pasta or a nice light cream soup. i use my own homemade butter for this (possibly because i'm crazy). if you want to do that it's really easy: just take whipping cream at room temp, whip it way past the point of whipping cream and you'll see the fat separate from the milk. squeeze the newborn butter to the side of the bowl and pour off the milk (keep that, it's perfectly good), rinse the butter under cold water three or four times, breaking it up to wash out the extra milk, then mix in a little salt. you can easily double or triple this but it may or may not freeze well. the dough and butter would probably freeze better separately.
* 2 -2 1/2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup warm water
* 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
* 1/2 tablespoon sugar
* 1 tablespoon oil
garlic butter
* 1/4-1/3 cup butter (room temp, homemade really is better)
* 1/2 teaspoon dill
* 6 garlic cloves, minced (i run it through my garlic grinder)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1. mix the yeast and sugar in a measuring cup, that keeps it from getting lumpy, add the cup of warm water and stir together. let sit for 5 min.
2. mix 2 cups flour and salt in a med sized bowl, then dump in yeast mix and stir until a soft dough forms.
3. kneed until dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour if needed. don't add so much flour that it becomes dry, it should still be slightly sticky.
4. rinse out the bowl and swirl the oil around in it, put the dough back in and turn it over so it's coated.
5. cover the bowl (i like to wrap a tea towel over and under it), and place in a warm (not hot!) oven to rise. i usually turn my oven on to the lowest setting that will turn on the element for 5 min and then turn off.
6. once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and form into a long, thin loaf. place on a cookie sheet that you've oiled and sprinkled with cornmeal. slash diagonally with a sharp knife 3 or 4 times. place it back in your warm oven until it's doubled again.
7. turn the oven up to 375f for 20 minute my oven runs a little cool so i turn it up to closer to 380 or 390. a little too warm is better then a little too cool in this case. after 20 min it should be nicely golden on top. let it cool until no more then warm.
8. in the mean time mix all ingredients of the garlic butter.
9. slice vertically into 3/4-1 inch slices, leaving the bottom crust intact. carefully pull slices apart so you can spread the butter on each side of each slice without breaking them apart.
10. wrap loosely but completely in foil and bake at 400f for 10-15 minute serve immediately.