Anyone who has made bread will know that it requires a great deal of wrist action in the kneading process. I have been told I have excellent kneading technique. While I was of course completely flattered to be told that my kneading technique was superior, by a professional no less, it is rather disappointing to know that one of my few easily identified talents is unlikely to be much use to me in my chosen field of employment. I suppose at least I always have options if the law isn’t for me! 😉
Bolstered by the previously mentioned flattery and the fact that humiliation is a well known companion, I decided that I was going to overcome my fear of making bread. When I find myself in times of baking self doubt Nigella Lawson comes to me, bearing wisdom throughout her cook book ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’. Safe in the hands of my trusted brunette sister I embarked upon the recipe for her Garlic and Parsley hearthbreads, the recipe did not fail and I was able to produce two lovely loaves of gorgeous garlic and oil doused bread.
I can assure you if you are in anyway apprehensive about the baking of bread, this recipe will not disappoint. It is the most luxurious of garlic breads and can be scoffed while standing over the baking tray just freshly out of the oven, so even if it is not a complete success no one will be the wiser!
Who do you turn to for baking wisdom?
Garlic and Parsley Hearthbreads
Recipe by Nigella Lawson
- 500 gms of white flour
- 7 gms of instant yeast
- 1 tbsp of table salt
- 300-400 mls of warm water
- 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (you can use regular olive oil).
Garlic and Parsley Oil
- 3 Heads of garlic
- Large handful of parsley
- More extra virgin olive oil.
1. Combine the flour, yeast and table salt in a bowl and put aside.
2. In a jug or bowl place the warm water and olive oil.
3. Using a dough hook on the slowest speed add the water into the dry ingredients and mix until the dough is slightly sticky but combined and forming a ball.
4. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. You should see real bounce back when you stretch the dough. You can do this part with the dough hook at a higher speed but I wanted to utilise my new found talent!
5. Oil a large bowl and place the kneaded dough into the bowl covering with oiled glad wrap. Place in a warm spot to rise for approximately an hour or until you can tell it has doubled in size.
6. Once risen, take the dough out of the bowl and punch it down using your knuckles to release any air. Leave it to rest for a further 10 minutes. Divide the dough into two and roll the dough out until about 5 cms thick. Put each loaf on a lined baking tray and then try to stretch the dough a little further using your fingers.
7. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
8. Cover the trays with tea towels and put aside to allow to get puffy, this takes about 20 – 30 minutes. Use your fingers to make little dimples across the bread, the oil, garlic and parsley will pool in these little dimples.
9. Pour the garlic parsley mixture over the breads and place in the oven. Bake for 20 – 30 mins or until golden and the parsley mix is dark. Top with some Maldon salt and serve.
Garlic and Parsley Oil
1. Trim the garlic head and place on a small square of alfoil. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap the garlic in the foil and then wrap the package in another layers making sure to allow space around the garlic. Place in a preheated oven on 190 degrees and bake for 45 mins.
2. Place a good handful of parsley leaves into a food processor along with the garlic that has been squeezed from its skin and add olive oil while processing the parsley. The oil dressing should be runny and easy to pour. So just keep adding oil until you get the right consistency.