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garlic pull-apart bread

garlic pull-apart bread.jpg

If you love fluffy, milky bread that's been basted in garlic butter and then served fresh and hot from the oven, then this is recipe has your name all over it! Perfect for soup season or served as a side dish to anything that needs mopping up...I'm looking at you potato and gravy! 
Time: 20 minutes preparation | 1 hour prooving | 20 minutes baking 
Makes: 2 loaves | I used two 11.5cm x 7.5cm loaf tins*

For the bread
1/2 cup warm water

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1/2 cup milk

1 heaped teaspoon salt

2 1/2 - 3 cups high-grade white flour**

To brush the tops with
75g butter, melted

4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped 
1 small handful of parsley, finely chopped 



Pour the warm water into a large bowl and sprinkle over the yeast and sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes until it becomes frothy, then mix in the butter, milk and salt (the butter will incorporate a little better once the flour is added and the kneading is happening in the next steps). Gradually add in the flour, mixing well until you have a slightly firm but sticky dough. NOTE: You may only need to add 2 cups of the flour at this stage, it depends on the brand you are using and the temperature of the room etc. Turn the dough out, and knead for a FULL 10 minutes, adding a little more flour as you go when it starts sticking to your hands. The dough, in the end, should be soft but not too sticky - use as much or as little flour as required, I used just over 2 1/2 cups for mine. After kneading, divide the dough into two equal portions, and then each portion into 11 pieces (so you have 22 altogether for both loaves), and form these into small ball shapes***. Set aside for now until you prepare the garlic butter topping.

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, chopped garlic and parsley. First, brush the bottom and the sides of the loaf tins with some of the butter. Next, dip and coat each ball into the garlic butter mixture before placing it in the loaf tin. I arranged the dough balls in pairs, 8 on the bottom, and then the last 3 sitting on top. Once you have prepared both loaves, cover with a clean, damp tea towel and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size - about 1 hour. Reserve the leftover butter mixture. While the bread is prooving, pre-heat the oven to 180°C and make sure you have a rack on the lowest shelf in the oven. 

Once the bread is proved, bake at 180°C on the bottom shelf for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush the remaining butter on the bread once they come out of the oven. Allow cooling in the tin for 5 minutes before removing. They are best eaten on the day that they are made...but that won't be hard! ;) 

* Make sure you use two loaf tins as opposed to just one. If all this dough was in one, the density will be too thick, meaning the centre won't cook all the way through. Alternatively, you could use a large cake tin or similar, but you would need to alter the cooking time. 
** High-grade flour is sometimes also called 'bread flour'. I use Champion brand (not sponsored), as I find this gives the best, fluffy and light results. Not all flours/brands are the same.
*** You can watch this video of mine HERE (at 1:50 sec) to see the technique of how I form bun shapes.

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