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Parmesan Garlic Herb Bread

Baking good bread at home has been quite a bit of challenge. I have tried my hand at it couple of times and I don’t say I had great success. Some times they turned out good and other times, total flop. But it is definitely something I always loved to learn. So here was a golden opportunity for me.

Our friend Cindy had called us for lunch few days ago. When we reached her home, out-of-the-world delicious aroma of bread baking invited us. She served us just-out-of-oven bread which was one of the tastiest breads I have ever had. I could not believe she had baked such good bread. So I asked her for the recipe.

She sent it to me and I baked it last week. When I started with it and the dough beautifully rose,I knew it was going to be a success. As expected, it was absolutely delicious. I gave it a foccacia bread shape and topped with olives. That was my personal touch, it is great as simple bread sticks too.

I made the bread with half the measurements given below, i.e. half the quantity.

Ingredients:
2 envelopes active dry yeast (1 envelope = 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 cups warm water (100-110F)
2/3 cup olive oil
3 tbl spn sugar
4 1/2 – 5 cups all purpose flour (use the least necessary)
2 tea spn salt
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
6 cloves garlic (run through press or mince very fine)
2 tea spn dried mixed Italian seasonings
1 tsp dried basil

I used half all purpose flour and half wheat flour.

Method:
Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Add oil, sugar, 3 and 1/2 cups flour. Mix until smooth. Let sponge rest about 20 minutes. (At this stage, the dough is very sticky)
Mix down, add salt, garlic, seasonings and basil. Stir in more flour until it is easy to handle. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes by hand).
Leave it overnight(I left it sit just for 1 hr instead of overnight) and next day, take out, Shape into loaves. I made it into 4 bread sticks and 1 foccacia (as I said, I had used half the quantity)
Place into greased baking pans or sheets. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled in size. Approx 1 hour.
I sprinkled them with some parmesan cheese and olives. Also drizzled some olive oil on top.
Preheat the oven at 350F for about 10mins. Bake for 30-35mins at 350F or till it is done.
I served it with marinara sauce, topped it with red chili flakes while serving. But it tastes on its own too.

The quantity mentioned above, makes 2 big round loaves.

I am sending this to Mansi’s Monthly mingle – Appetizers & Hors’Doeuvres event.

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{ 27 comments… add one }

  • geeta June 5, 2008, 9:20 pm

    hi shilpa,
    i love that olive decoration on it.
    really looks great

    geeta

  • Maya June 5, 2008, 9:38 pm

    Bread has come out excellent Shilpa! Am goin to try this, and will add in some jalapenos also maybe. Yummm..

    Shilpa: Yes, that would be great. I was out of Jalapenos and V wanted them on the bread :(. If you have sundried tomatoes, try them too.

  • musy June 5, 2008, 9:52 pm

    Looks really lovely! Must have had a heavenly aroma!

  • Divya June 5, 2008, 10:53 pm

    Hi , I have never baked bread ..yours seems to be so yummy making me think of baking it now ..lovely decoration too

  • shibani June 6, 2008, 1:09 am

    u are right , baking bread is sometimes a challenge.This bread sounds delicious. Shilpa , try using bread flour , the results are awesome, its got gluten that rises fast and is airy.Thanks

  • sunita June 6, 2008, 1:11 am

    Shilpa, the bread looks beautiful…I adore making bread..something quite addictive :-)

  • Lisette June 6, 2008, 1:15 am

    Wow! That looks delicious!

  • UshaPrashanth June 6, 2008, 1:21 am

    Hi!!!!
    The bread looks absolutely delicious!!!!!!!! Love it!!!!

  • pelicano June 6, 2008, 1:32 am

    Oh my! I think I can cancel that “beginner’s bread-making post” I was going to do for you…once…a long time ago….seems like years ago! :-D I think with this and that French bread you are better than me! I touch your feet Shilpa…

    Shilpa: Please post it Pel !. I got this recipe right…but I still cant say I know the basics. It will be very helpful for me. I want to make the sandwich bread loaf(the kind available in market) :). (Someone recently told me I am too ambitious in knitting…I think it applies to cooking too ;) ).

  • veda June 6, 2008, 4:05 am

    Mouth watering shilpa…

  • Happy Cook June 6, 2008, 6:53 am

    Wow this looks super delicious

  • Purnima June 6, 2008, 7:15 am

    The bread surely look delicious n the loved the pattern u made with olives, the sticks look grand too! Tks for sharing!!

  • Asha June 6, 2008, 7:39 am

    Great looking Foccacia,makes great sandwiches too. I have one too in the draft, waiting for some event!:D

    Enjoy your weekend, hugs to you. I am a little bit under the weather today. Temp is going to be 99F tomorrow, good weekend to rest inside the house!:)

  • Mishmash! June 6, 2008, 8:47 am

    My success stories with bread making is very pathetic…..i hope to try this sometime soon…..ur post was too tempting :)

  • bee June 6, 2008, 10:18 am

    that is so beautiful.

  • Aruna June 6, 2008, 11:07 am

    I am sure if, i follow the instructions it is going to be a super hit. We all love garlic bread. I am going to try this on the weekend. As Maya said some jalapeños will also do a good job. Luckily i have the sun dried tomatoes too from Trader Joe’s, sitting for a long time, waiting to be used.
    One question. Is this to be baked in the jelly roll pans or any other baking tray will do?

    Shilpa: Aruna, I baked it on pizza stone, so it worked beautifully.

  • Cindy June 6, 2008, 11:58 am

    I think your bread came out much prettier and better than the one I made! I am very excited to add the olives and try a few of the variations suggested here. I love sun-dried tomatoes and jalapeños but never thought of trying them in this recipe! I think my husband will soon be sick of bread!

    thanks for all the ideas and the encouragement!
    Cindy

  • Chetna June 6, 2008, 12:57 pm

    Wow, Shilpa !! Kudos, girl !!
    The bread looks so lovely.

    I have never tried my hand at bread-making, becuase I hate to roll sticky dough !! But your accomplishment inspires me to try my hand at this ..

    Don’t worry about what people say ..that you are “too ambitious” – Only losers and under-achievers can say that !!

    Keep up your good work. I admire you tremendously because you work so hard to do what you love so much!!!

    Shilpa: Hey Chetana, that was said as a compliment/appreciation for me by a good friend. But thanks for the comment :)

  • Mansi June 6, 2008, 1:49 pm

    This looks fresh and beautiful Shilpa! I can imagine the flavor as parmesan and garlic are a winning combo! I use it in all my pasta, pizza and pastry bakes!:)

    btw, this could be a great fit for the monthly mingle I’m hosting on my blog; so do send it in if you can!

  • Kalai June 8, 2008, 10:01 pm

    OMG! Gorgeous, Shilpa!! :)

  • Archy June 9, 2008, 8:35 pm

    Hi, Shilpa,
    Bread looks yummy !! Shall try it !!

    Do u get this cheese in any Store ?? Or can i use normal cheese ??

    Shilpa: Yes Archy. You get it in any grocery store in cheese isle.

  • nilanjana June 9, 2008, 10:26 pm

    I absolutely loved the olives idea of the bread, it makes it look so very italian…i’m a great fan of yor and keep checking for your new recipies…can you tel me a good way to bake it in a micro, as this recipe in the micro tuns out a little moist?

    Btw i have added you as my favs. in my site…would love it if you visit my site sometime.

    Nilanjana

    Shilpa: Nilanjana, did you use “convention mode” for baking? I don’t think bread can be baked at normal microwave mode(not sure).

  • Archana June 10, 2008, 6:08 am

    Hey lovely recipe and photograph – a very nice one with wines. Hey I am also hosting an event –
    on One Dish Meals – http://www.archanaskitchen.com/2008/uncategorized/monthly-one-dish-event-meals/

    Check the link above for the details of the event. I would love for you to bring in your innovative ideas for this event.

  • carolyn Webb October 28, 2008, 1:25 pm

    I love your recipes. Thanks. Carolyn Webb

  • Preeti November 10, 2009, 4:41 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    I tried making bread for the first time yesterday following your recipe – actually 2 recipes – the one above and that of cheddar bread. I also halved the qty mentioned in the measurements, added cheddar cheese along with parmesan cheese, some fresh rosemary and basil that I had along with red pepper flakes. I kneaded the dough and let it rise twice…great great taste!

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe!
    take care,
    Preeti

  • Susmita April 9, 2010, 5:11 pm

    Hi Shilpa

    Thanks for all your recipes. They turn out delicious and motivates one for trying new stuff. I had a question: When you say leave it overnight, does it mean leave it out at room temp or in the refrigerator?

    • Shilpa April 10, 2010, 8:23 am

      Room temperature

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