Take your garlic bread game up a notch with this beautiful roasted garlic braid.
Crisp crust, super soft interior and swirled with aromatic roasted garlic – this bread pairs absolutely perfectly with soup. And it’s vegan!
Makes 1 medium loaf
Active time: about 30 minutes in total
Non-active time: about 4 hours in total
Baking: 25 minutes
350g (2 4/5 cups, spooned & scraped) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
185g (4/5 cup) water, room temperature
30ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil
1 whole head garlic
1 tsp olive oil
additional oil for brushing
Whisk together the flour, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add the water and mix to a shaggy dough, then add the 30ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil and mix to combine.
Knead the dough for about 8 minutes until soft and smooth.
Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size. This can take up to three hours, depending on ambient temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare the garlic
Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F / gas mark 5.
Pull as much of the papery skin off the head of garlic as you can, without exposing the flesh. Using a serrated knife, chop the top half centimetre (5th inch) off each clove. Cradle the garlic in a piece of aluminium foil and drizzle with olive oil then wrap it tightly. Put the parcel in a shallow baking dish (to catch any drips) and put it in the oven for 1 hour. Set aside to cool.
Assembly and baking
Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into a small bowl, keeping as much of the oil as possible. Use a small fork to mash it to a smooth paste, adding a little more oil if necessary.
Punch down the dough and knead it together, then divide into three equal portions.
Roll each portion out to a roughly rectangular shape about 10cm (4″) wide and 35cm (14″) long and spread each portion with the garlic paste.
Roll the dough into long sausages, pinch them all together at one end and braid the three strands together. Pinch the other end together and transfer to a paper-lined baking sheet.
Cover with a clean kitchen towel, allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour, and preheat oven to 230°C / 450°F / gas mark 8.
Brush the top with a little olive oil and bake in centre of oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.