The basic bread dough is a versatile cooking element. This can be used to make a simple loaf to give those amazing toasts to go with your tea or can be shaped, filled or rolled to make impressive bread creations. Garlic bread is a favourite at my home. Whenever I make pizza and have a bit of dough left over I make delicious garlic bread out of it. Bit sometimes the bread needs to be the start of the show. This is where I get to experiment with the dough and create something beautiful.
This recipe uses the basic dough, enriched with some garlic powder. The beauty lies in creating the flower pattern, which though looks very intricate, is actually very easy to pull together.
2.5-3 cups plain flour
0.5 teaspoon salt
1 heaped spoon dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
0.5-1 teaspoon garlic powder optional
A knob of butter, mixed herbs
Mix sugar in luke-warm water
Gently add yeast to the water and wait for 10 mins for the yeast to bloom
In a mixing bowl, mix flour, garlic powder and salt. Pour yeast mix and knead into a soft sticky dough using more water as required
Knead for at least 10 minutes, adding olive oil towards the end.
Once the dough comes together, keep in a bowl, dab with more olive oil, cover with a damp towel and keep aside for first proofing for up to 1.5 hours.
When the dough has doubled in size, knock down the dough and shape into 14-16 balls.
In a small bowl, melt butter and mix herbs and a few cloves of garlic, minced.
Roll each ball out into a flat small circle. Apply the herb mix to one half of the circle.
Fold it slightly offset from the centre (see image), do not fold exactly halfway through as we need some off-set to allow for the 'petal' structure to form
Pinch the opposite ends of the folded half-circle together so that it looks like a two layered petal.
Arrange the dough petals in a baking pan starting from outer end converging to the centre
After you have arranged all dough balls, cover with damp cloth and keep aside for about 30 mins for a final proofing
Melt butter, mix few herbs and minced garlic if desired and brush generously over the bread.
Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees for 20-30 mins depending on over standards.