Cheesy Garlic-Herb Bread

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Cheesy Garlic-Herb Bread

This is garlic bread taken to a whole new level. Inspired by the cheesy garlic bliss that is Buca di Beppo garlic bread, this homemade Cheesy Garlic-Herb Bread starts with two freshly baked loaves of bread. The two loaves are then halved and coated in a garlic-herb olive oil and blanketed in Parmesan and mozzarella before going back in the oven to achieve that perfect melted cheese pull. With Platinum Yeast® from Red Star® Yeast, these loaves are the perfect texture. Garnished with basil and dried Italian seasoning, this garlic bread is the ideal addition to your next family pasta night.

Cheesy Garlic-Herb Bread
Makes 2 loaves
  • Sponge:
  • ½ cup (120 grams) warm water (110°F/43°C to 115°F/46°C)
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) instant yeast*
  • 1 cup (127 grams) bread flour

  • Dough:
  • 2 to 2¼ cups (254 to 286 grams) bread flour, divided
  • ½ cup (120 grams) warm water (110°F/43°C to 115°F/46°C)
  • 4 teaspoons (20 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2¾ teaspoons (8.25 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 large egg white (30 grams), lightly beaten

  • Topping:
  • ½ cup (112 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 small garlic cloves (10 grams), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon (3 grams) finely chopped fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups) (see Notes)
  • ¼ cup (24 grams) shredded Parmesan cheese (see Notes)

  • Garnish: finely chopped fresh basil, dried Italian seasoning
  1. For sponge: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together ½ cup (120 grams) warm water and yeast by hand until dissolved and well combined. Add flour; using the paddle attachment, beat at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size and very small bubbles appear on surface, about 30 minutes.
  2. For dough: Add 2 cups (254 grams) flour, ½ cup (120 grams) warm water, oil, and salt to sponge; beat at low speed just until combined. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough is smooth, just barely sticky, and elastic, 7 to 9 minutes; add up to remaining ¼ cup (32 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is too sticky. (Dough should pass windowpane test; see Notes.)
  3. Oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. (See Notes.)
  5. Punch down dough; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Turn out dough onto a clean surface, and divide in half. Place one half smoothest side down. (Keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap.) Shape dough into a 6×5-inch rectangle, one long side closest to you. Fold top long side toward center, and press to seal. Bring bottom long side up to meet other long side in center; press to seal. Moving from left end to right end, use your right thumb to depress along center of dough while folding dough lengthwise in half; simultaneously use fingertips to seal seam. Roll seam side down; fold and pinch ends under to create a 9×2½-inch loaf with rounded edges. Place on prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough, and place 2½ to 3 inches away from other loaf on pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed and dough holds an indentation when poked, 18 to 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  7. Gently brush loaves with egg white. Using a lame, a razor, or a very sharp paring knife, score bread with 4 (3½-to 4-inch-long) diagonal cuts.
  8. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 14 to 17 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Leave oven on.
  9. For topping: In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir together oil and garlic; heat on high until warm and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in basil and Italian seasoning.
  10. Using a serrated knife, cut loaves in half lengthwise. Brush garlic oil onto cut sides, evenly dividing garlic slices among loaves. Place bread, cut side up, on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with cheeses.
  11. Bake until cheese is melted, 6 to 10 minutes. Garnish with basil and Italian seasoning, if desired. Serve immediately.
*We used Platinum® Yeast from Red Star®.

Notes: For best results, shred the cheese yourself instead of buying preshredded cheese.

To use the windowpane test to check dough for proper gluten development, lightly flour hands and pinch off (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a windowpane. If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready. Beat for 1 minute, and test again.

Be careful not to grease the baking sheet with an oil with a smoke point below 400°F (200°C).


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