Crusty garlic bread

Crusty Garlic Bread

Crusty garlic bread

My brother thought it was fine and dandy that I could make coffeecakes, scones, sandwich bread and soft rolls. “But could you make a crusty loaf of garlic bread? You know, the ones with a crispy crust?” he asked.

Sam’s Crusty Garlic Bread

Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s French-Style Country Bread


Sponge Starter (Begin 2 to 16 hours ahead)

– 1 cup (8 ounces) cool to lukewarm water
– 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
– 1 1/4 cups (5 1/4 ounces) bread flour
– 1/4 cup (1 ounce) whole wheat flour

Final Dough

– All of the sponge starter (above)
– 1 cup (8 ounces) lukewarm water
– 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 3 3/4 to 4 cups (1 pound to 1 pound 1 ounce) bread flour
– 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp salted butter


To make the sponge: Stir all of the sponge ingredients together to make a thick, pudding-like mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and leave on a counter overnight or for at least 2 to 4 hours.

This is Jackie being trigger-happy:

Sponge just after mixing

Sponge just after mixing

Sponge at 2 hours

Sponge at 2 hours

Sponge at 5 hours (check out the bubbles!)

Sponge at 5 hours (check out the bubbles!)

Sponge at 10 hours

Sponge at 10 hours (notice how it's collapsed a bit)

Sponge at 16 hours

Sponge at 16 hours

To make the dough: Saute the minced garlic in the butter and let it cool until slightly warm. Stir down the sponge with a spoon and add the water, yeast, sugar, most of the flour (hold back about 1/2 cup to use if required), salt and garlic butter. Stir the dough just until it forms a loose, shaggy mass.

Autolyse: 12 minutes

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it undergo the bulk fermentation.

Bulk fermentation: 1 1/2 hours, with stretch and folds at 30 min. and 60 min.

Shape:Β  boule, and let it rise seam-side up in a flour-dusted banneton. Or, if you don’t have a banneton, use a plastic colander generously dusted with flour like I did. At this point in time, my parents thought I was going a bit crazy – taking photos of bubbly goop over a period of 16 hours and then borrowing colanders to further baby this goop? Could this girl not just use the colander for draining washed vegetables or cooked pasta, or something?

Second fermentation: 45 min to 1 hour, or until your mom starts giving you the look because she needs to use the colander

Invert the boule right-side up (seam-side down) and slash or cross-hatch the bread with a sharp knife or lame. Bake in a preheated 475F oven with steam for 8 minutes (I baked the boule in a lidded Pyrex bowl that was in the oven during the preheat), and then reduce the heat to 425F and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes without steam (remove the lid of the bowl) until the loaf turns a deep golden brown.

This is the result of Jackie trying to demonstrate loading a boule into the very hot Pyrex bowl, and missing the center of the bowl (that's why the slash is completely off-center)

This is the result of Jackie trying to demonstrate loading a boule into the very hot Pyrex bowl, and missing the center of the bowl (that's why the slash is completely off-center)

Crusty garlic bread crumb

Crusty garlic bread crumb: a lot denser than I expected, but not bad considering how much I manhandled it during the loading

* * *

This loaf goes to my brother, who’s celebrating his birthday today while he completes an internship in Manila. Happy birthday, Sam!


to Susan at Wild Yeast for YeastSpotting,


to me, in celebration of Toxo Bread turning one year old! (Actually, it turned one on the 14th but there was a bit too much going on during the week.)


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13 Responses to “Crusty garlic bread”

  1. Macie Says:

    Oh, yummy! I’m a huge fan of all things garlicy.

    • toxobread Says:

      Macie: me too! I next want to try and make something with roasted garlic – I think that’s going to take the bread to a whole new level.

  2. Susan/Wild Yeast Says:

    Wow, happy birthday to you and your brother! Garlic is always good for a celebration in my book.

    • toxobread Says:

      Susan: heh heh nope, not my birthday by my brother’s and my blog’s! Chocolate would be another great way to celebrate but I’m afraid chocolate probably wouldn’t pair very well with garlic πŸ˜›

  3. YeastSpotting May 22, 2009 | Wild Yeast Says:

    […] Crusty garlic bread […]

  4. Mary Says:

    Your brother should surrender now πŸ™‚ birthday or not. That is one impressive loaf of bread and he’s one very lucky sibling. Have a great weekend.

  5. MC Says:

    This bread is just gorgeous! And just to think about the taste… Mmm!

  6. shellyfish Says:

    Happy birthday to your brother – how cool that he was the inspiration for this beautiful bread!

  7. toxobread Says:

    Mary: hehe thanks! I hope you have a great weekend too.

    MC: got to love garlic in a loaf of crusty bread!

    shellyfish: thanks! He did have a lovely birthday. πŸ™‚

  8. Heavenly Housewife Says:

    Wow, this looks amazing!!! I am going to bookmark this recipe. I am so glad i found your website. Bread is my favorite food.

  9. em Says:

    Ahhh forgive me, Jackie! I’ve been working hard this summer! Have to write a jurisprudence exam at the end of July, too, but here I am, catching up on toxobread…better late than never, no?
    That garlic bread looks SO good! Is the garlic flavour stronger than the store-bought garlic bread where they slather on the garlic butter after the loaf is formed?

  10. toxobread Says:

    Em: oh no worries! I know you’ve been working hard this summer. πŸ™‚
    I didn’t get to try this garlic bread myself since Sam took the whole boule back to Hamilton with him, although I imagine it was probably more mild-flavoured than garlic butter smeared on toasted bread… though I guess that depends on how much garlic butter is used, right?

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