Ahhhh … garlic herb bread. The aromas from lightly sautéed garlic, herbs and yeasted dough baking together make for an aromatic kitchen. You can shape this bread any way you would like, including braiding or even into rolls. It makes a great pizza crust, or fill it with pepperoni, sauce and cheese for a meal.
• 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
• 2 cups warm water (85 degrees F/45 degrees C)
• 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 Tbsp. salt
• 1 Tbsp. lightly sautéed garlic in 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 Tbsp. dried basil
• 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
• 6 cups bread flour
1. Mix yeast, warm water and sugar together in a large bowl. Set aside for five minutes or until mixture becomes foamy.
2. Stir olive oil, salt, herbs and 3 cups flour into the yeast mixture. Gradually mix in the next three cups of flour. Dough will be stiff.
3. Knead dough for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and rubbery. Place in an oiled bowl and turn to cover the surface of the dough with oil. Cover with a damp linen dish towel. Allow to rise for one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
4. Punch dough down to release all the gases. Shape into two loaves. Place loaves into two greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
5. Bake at 370 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove loaves from pan(s) and let cool on wire racks for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Chef Deborah Misik is the Instructional Coordinator of Baking and Pastry at The Culinary Institute of Montana at Flathead Valley Community College. She is a certified executive pastry chef and a certified culinary educator through the American Culinary Federation. For more information about the Culinary Institute of Montana at FVCC, visit www.culinaryinstituteofmt.com.