Pull-Apart Garlic Bread



I believe that garlic bread is one of those foods that is universally beloved. I got introduced to garlic bread as a side for pizzas that we used to eat at Pizza Hut. For a long time, garlic bread to me was crispy, oblong-shaped bread slices covered in gooey cheese. And, it had to be eaten with pizza—no questions about that.


Of course, as my food journey progressed, my views on what garlic bread is also progressed. I’ve now realized that there is no single definition for what garlic bread is; each one of us has our perception about what it is.


So, I have landed on a definition for garlic bread, and I think it makes sense. Therefore, in my opinion, any bread can be garlic bread if you smother it in enough garlic butter.


Now, the bread in question can be store-bought bread over which you spread garlic butter, or you can also smother garlic butter into bread dough and bake it and end up with fresh garlic bread.



The latter is what this recipe is about; this recipe for pull-apart garlic bread is super simple; it’s garlicky, buttery, and herby. It makes for great party food for a crowd; it’s interactive, fun, and oh so delicious. Serve it with some marinara sauce, and it becomes irresistible. (You can find the marinara sauce recipe on my Pizza Margherita recipe post.)


I would like to think that this recipe is beginner-friendly; there aren’t many complex bread techniques involved.


What goes into this pull-apart garlic bread?


So, there are two components in this recipe. The first one is the dough, and the second is the garlic butter.


The dough is relatively simple. It yields a very soft and pillowy bread, which acts as a perfect vehicle for garlic butter. The dough calls for all-purpose flour, lukewarm milk, water, active dry yeast, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and sugar.



The addition of milk and olive oil to the dough makes it more spongy, richer, and flavorful.


Making the dough is super easy; it’s not very sticky, so you just need to knead it for a few minutes by hand and then let it rise for an hour.



Coming to the garlic butter, I have made it from scratch (minus the butter, of course). But, lots of stores sell ready-made garlic butter, which you can also use if you’d like.


I’ve used salted butter, roasted and raw garlic, and dried parsley for my garlic butter. You mix everything, and voila, you have garlic butter.



For the roasted garlic, you’ll need to cut the top of a whole bulb of garlic to expose the cloves a little. Then, place it over a piece of parchment paper, sprinkle some salt and pepper over it, followed by some olive oil. Wrap the garlic bulb with parchment paper and then some aluminum foil. Sit the garlic in a shallow baking dish, and it goes into the preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for 40-45 minutes.


You end up with a fragrant bulb of garlic, with squishy, soft garlic cloves that just ooze out of the bulb when you press it.



The roasted garlic adds a depth of flavor and a bit of smokiness to the garlic butter. I also add some raw, minced garlic to intensify the garlicky flavor.


Lastly, I also grate some mozzarella to add over the garlic butter during shaping. Try to avoid using pre-shredded cheese, and it’s just not the same. You don’t need a lot of cheese, so I would recommend grating it freshly.



How do I shape this pull-apart garlic bread?


The shaping is perhaps the most crucial part of this recipe. The shaping is unbelievably easy, and you don’t need to worry about complex shaping and to handle goopy dough that’s been smeared in a lot of butter.



What you’re going to do is, you’re going to roll out the risen dough into a large rectangle (13x11 inches). Use a spatula to evenly spread the garlic butter all across the sheet of dough. Sprinkle the entire surface with grated mozzarella.


Then, you’re going to use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough sheet into 15 equal-sized squares.



Next, you’re going to have a buttered loaf tin ready, and you’ll want to stack three squares at a time (butter side facing up) and place them in the tin (butter side facing you). Then, continue doing that four more times until you run out of the garlic bread squares.



And, that’s it, easy, simple shaping. Nothing too complex.


What equipment do I need?


You’ll need a medium-sized mixing bowl, a whisk, and a silicone spatula to make the dough. You’ll also need a large mixing bowl for the dough to rise.


You’ll need a shallow baking dish, some parchment paper, and aluminum foil for the garlic butter. And a small mixing bowl and a spatula or a spoon.


To shape the garlic bread, you’ll need a large rolling pin, an offset spatula, or a silicone spatula, and a cheese grater to grate the mozzarella.


Finally, you will need a 9x4 inch loaf tin to bake the garlic bread.


Some other tools and things you’ll need to have handy are plastic wrap/clean kitchen towel, measuring tools (cups/kitchen scale), a couple of spoons, and a small bowl.



The recipe for pull-apart garlic bread


Time: 2 ½ hours

Yields: 4-5 servings


INGREDIENTS


For the dough:

  • 120 grams (½ cup) lukewarm milk

  • 100 grams (¼ cup + 2 ½ tablespoons) lukewarm water

  • 6 grams (1 ½ teaspoon) granulated sugar

  • 6 grams (1 ½ teaspoon) active dry yeast

  • 300 grams (2 ⅓ cups) all-purpose flour

  • 4 grams (1 teaspoon) salt

  • 15 grams (1 tablespoon) extra virgin olive oil


For the garlic butter:

  • 200 grams (1 cup) softened salted butter

  • 1 large bulb of garlic, oven-roasted

  • 4-5 raw garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 grams (1 ½ tablespoon) dried/fresh parsley

  • 150 grams (½ cup) mozzarella, grated (you can add more or less depending on your preference)


METHOD


Making the dough:

  • In a small bowl, mix the milk, water, and sugar until the sugar dissolves.

  • Sprinkle the yeast over it, and mix it in. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes until it’s bubbly and frothy.

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the flour and salt well.

  • Add the yeast mixture and olive oil to the flour. Use a silicone spatula to form a shaggy mass of dough.

  • Use your hands to knead the dough for 3-4 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a tight ball.

  • Get a large, clean mixing bowl, and grease it with some olive oil. Place the dough ball in it, and cover it with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel.

  • Place the dough in a warm spot until it has doubled in size; it should take about an hour or so.


Making the garlic butter:

  • Meanwhile, roast the garlic. Cut the top off a whole garlic bulb, place it in parchment paper + aluminum foil, drizzle salt, pepper, and olive oil over the garlic.

  • Wrap the garlic with the parchment and foil, and roast it in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for 40-45 minutes.

  • To make the garlic butter, squeeze out the garlic cloves from the roasted garlic into the softened salted butter, add the minced raw garlic, followed by the parsley. Mix until everything is combined.


Shaping:

  • Heavily grease a 9x4 inch loaf tin with butter.

  • Flour your counter, and gently de-gas the risen dough, and turn it onto the counter.

  • Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a ½ inch thick rectangle (13x11 inches in dimension).

  • Use an offset spatula or a silicone spatula to evenly spread all of the garlic butter across the sheet of dough.

  • Sprinkle the grated mozzarella over it.

  • Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the sheet of dough into 15 equal-sized squares.

  • Stack 3 squares on one another at a time; the butter side should face up.

  • Place the squares in the prepared loaf tin, with the butter side facing you.

  • Continue doing this until all 15 squares have fit into the loaf tin.


Baking:

  • Cover the tin with plastic wrap/damp kitchen towel. Allow it to proof at room temperature for 20-25 minutes until the bread has doubled in size and become puffy.

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

  • Once the bread has been proven, bake it in the preheated oven at 200°C for 20-25 minutes until it is golden brown and fragrant.

  • Brush some more butter on top, and sprinkle it with flakey salt.

  • Serve the garlic bread while it’s still fresh and warm, with some marinara sauce (click here for the recipe).



Notes


If you’re using store-bought garlic butter, make sure it is at room temperature/softened, measure out 200 grams (1 cup) of it, and use it.


If you wish to store the garlic bread, place it in an airtight container, or tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. It should keep for at least a week to ten days that way. To reheat, place the bread in a shallow baking dish, and put it in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for 8-10 minutes.



If you liked this recipe or if you try any of my recipes, share your thoughts with me on Instagram or Facebook!


#pullapartgarlicbread #garlicbread #breadsandsavory

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