Bread is such a wonderful thing, a few grams of flour, some yeast, salt and water and you have life’s sustenance. Get your hands in, mix it, squeeze it, knead it and you have a hand crafted loaf, so much easier than needlepoint or dressmaking and yet I still only make bread occasionally. As it gently rises to a golden crust in the oven the house is alive with the fragrance. Bursting with flavour, served warm slathered with butter or daubed with simple goats cheese and sprinkled with herbs, there is nothing quite like home made bread. This simple tear and share garlic bread is made in a bundt tin to produce a ring of little buns oozing with garlic butter and a centre that can be filled with multicoloured antipasti ingredients, olive oil drizzled hummus or bright, lime zested guacamole.
If you don’t have a bundt tin you could use a large cake tin with a mini pudding tin in the centre. You just need to have enough space for the dough to rise in the second proving and in the oven. I make my bread by hand, stirring and kneading it without using a stand mixer, but if you prefer to use a dough hook to do your kneading, then it will take about 5 minutes. I used Marriage’s Golden wholegrain bread flour, which is a lighter wholemeal, but you could use white bread flour.
Once you’ve rolled out the dough, spread it with the garlic butter, reserving 2 tbsp for later.
On the left is the first row of dough, on the right is an example of how the dough will look before it’s proved for the second time. Don’t pack the dough balls too closely together as they need room to rise.
- For The Bread
- 500g Marriages Golden Wholegrain Bread Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 7g fast acting yeast
- 2 tbsp Olive oil plus a little extra to oil your bowl for proving
- 300mls water at room temperature
- For the Garlic Butter
- 100g Softened salted butter
- 4 Large cloves of garlic, crushed
- 3 Sprigs of Oregano Leaves removed and chopped (If you can't get fresh oregano use half tsp dried oregano)
- A handful of parsley, finely chopped
- Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, sprinkle over the yeast.
- Pour the water into a jug and add the olive oil, make a well in the centre of the flour and gently pour in the water. Using your hands or a wooden spoon stir the mixture together until it forms a dough.
- Turned out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 7-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
- Form it into a ball and place into a clean lightly oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm or a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.
- Meanwhile place all the ingredients for the garlic butter in a food processor and whizz together until smooth, set aside.
- Once the dough has risen, grease a bundt tin or your cake tin mini pudding tin combo I mentioned in the post.
- Take the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to form a large rectangle about 40 cm by 25cm (16 by 10 inches), It doesn't have to be exact. Cut the dough into 4cm squares, again it doesn't have to be exact and if some are smaller it can look quite attractive.
- Remove 2 tbsp of the butter mixture and set that aside. Using the remainder, liberally spread each one on one side only with the butter mixture and then fold up the corners and lightly form into a ball with the butter on the inside. Put into the bundt tin and repeat with the remainder of the dough gradually covering the base and building up the sides. Don't pack them too tightly as they need room to expand when they prove.
- Cover again with either cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to prove for another hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180c, 160c fan, gas 4, 350f, Place the tin in the centre of the oven and Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until well risen, and firm to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining butter mix whilst still hot. Leave to cool for about 20 minutes in the tin then turn out and fill the centre with you fabulous antipasti. Serve with cold meats of your choice.