Easy Garlic And Herb Swirl Bread

Indulge your senses in the aromatic allure of garlic and parsley, harmoniously paired in a buttermilk-infused bread. This recipe takes the soul-soothing comfort of home-baked bread and infuses it with a vibrant twist. The burst of flavors from the fresh herbs and the light tang from buttermilk makes this bread a perfect companion for your soups, stews, or even on its own.

loaf of garlic swirl bread with a slice taken

Chef’s Tips

  • If using dried herbs, consider reducing the quantity slightly, as dried varieties tend to be more potent than fresh ones.
  • Always opt for softened butter. It mixes well and ensures an even, creamy texture in the bread and spread.
  • While braiding and coiling the bread, ensure the cuts expose the herb layers for a delightful visual appeal.
  • For an extra golden crust, brush the top of the bread with a beaten egg or some milk before baking.
  • If you have any leftover garlic herb butter, it’s delicious on steaks, pastas, or simply spread on toast.
  • For a clean slice, wait until the bread has cooled down a bit. Use a serrated knife with gentle sawing motions.
  • Proper kneading is essential when working with all-purpose flour. It develops gluten, which gives your bread its structure. If the dough springs back when you poke it, you’ve kneaded it enough.
  • When activating the yeast, ensure your buttermilk is warm but not hot to the touch; around 110°F (43°C) is optimal. Too hot, and it may kill the yeast; too cold, and it might not activate.
parsley, butter, garlic, sugar, buttermilk, flour, salt, ingredients for garlic bread recipe

Ingredients

  • Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour – the primary structure of our bread. All-purpose flour is versatile and widely used in various baked goods.
  • Buttermilk: 1 cup – imparts a unique tanginess to the bread and assists in achieving a soft crumb. When paired with baking soda or yeast, it also plays a role in the rising process.
  • Active Dry Yeast: 2 ¼ tsp (1 standard packet) – this leavening agent is crucial for the bread to rise, giving it a fluffy and soft texture.
  • Sugar: 1 tsp – helps to activate the yeast and adds a touch of sweetness to balance the flavors.
  • Garlic: 3 cloves, finely minced – the aromatic heart of this bread, providing a rich, deep flavor.
  • Butter: 8 tbsp, softened – gives our bread a luxurious, buttery texture and taste, as well as playing a key role in the herb spread.
  • Salt: ½ tbsp – a vital seasoning that enhances and balances the flavors throughout the bread.
  • Parsley: 6 tbsp, fresh or dried, finely chopped – brings a refreshing herbaceous note and a splash of color.

Variations

  • Herbs: Feel free to experiment with other herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or chives. You can use them alone or create a blend to suit your palate.
  • Cheese: For a cheesy twist, sprinkle some grated parmesan or cheddar before rolling the dough into a log.
  • Spices: A pinch of red chili flakes or black pepper can add a zesty kick to your bread.
  • Addition of Egg: If you want to make the bread richer and softer, you can add 1 egg to the dough mixture. If adding an egg, ensure it’s at room temperature, as this can help with even mixing and dough consistency. You may also want to reduce the milk slightly, by about 2 tablespoons, to balance out the moisture content.

Buttermilk Substitutes

If you’re out of buttermilk you can use one of these alternatives.

  1. Milk + Lemon Juice or White Vinegar Method: Use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to fill 1 cup. Mix and let sit for about 5 minutes until the milk has curdled, then it’s ready to use.
  2. Milk and Cream of Tartar: Use 1 ¾ teaspoons cream of tartar mixed into 1 cup of milk.
close up of a loaf of garlic bread

Instructions

  1. Activate the Yeast: In a small bowl, warm the buttermilk slightly (it should be lukewarm, around 110°F or 45°C). Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Sprinkle the active dry yeast over the warm buttermilk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
stirring dry ingredients with whisk
mixing buttermilk into dry ingredients
  1. Pour the activated yeast-buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. Add 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix everything using a spatula until you form a smooth ball of dough. Place it in a warm, draft-free area and let it rise for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
mixing dough with final dry ingredients and butter
a towel draped over a bowl that has dough ball rising
  1. After the dough has risen, transfer it to a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 16×10-inch rectangle.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining butter, minced garlic, and chopped parsley. Spread this mixture evenly over the rolled-out dough.
  3. Roll the dough into a log. Cut the log in half and braid the two sections. Coil the braid, with one end going clockwise and the other counterclockwise, and place it into a medium-sized loaf pan.
spreading garlic herb butter on flattened dough
twisting garlic and herbed dough strips together
  1. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 35 minutes or until the bread has a golden-brown crust and sounds hollow when tapped.
overhead view of a loaf of garlic bread

Storage

  • Room Temperature: Store the cooled bread in a bread box or airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • Freezing: Wrap the completely cooled bread in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Label and freeze for up to a month. Thaw overnight at room temperature before serving.
  • Make Ahead: After shaping, you can refrigerate the dough for up to 2 days. When ready, let it come to room temperature before baking.

Baking bread at home can be therapeutic, and when it’s filled with flavors like these, it becomes a celebration for the palate. Happy baking!

More Garlic Goodness

Easy Garlic And Herb Swirl Bread

Sea Salt Savorings
Slice the bread while it's still slightly warm, letting the steam escape and the soft crumb reveal itself. The rich aroma of garlic and parsley coupled with the tanginess of buttermilk is sure to make every bite a memorable one.
5 from 64 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Dough Rise 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Appetizer, bread
Cuisine American
Servings 8 slices per loaf
Calories 235 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk adjust this amount slightly depending on the dough's consistency
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast 1 standard packet
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp fresh or dry parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar to activate the yeast

Instructions
 

  • Activate the Yeast: In a small bowl, warm the buttermilk slightly (it should be lukewarm, around 110°F or 45°C). Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Sprinkle the active dry yeast over the warm buttermilk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
  • Pour the activated yeast-buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. Add 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix everything using a spatula until you form a smooth ball of dough. Place it in a warm, draft-free area and let it rise for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  • After the dough has risen, transfer it to a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 16×10-inch rectangle.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the remaining butter, minced garlic, and chopped parsley. Spread this mixture evenly over the rolled-out dough.
  • Roll the dough into a log. Cut the log in half and braid the two sections. Coil the braid, with one end going clockwise and the other counterclockwise, and place it into a medium-sized loaf pan.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for 35 minutes or until the bread has a golden-brown crust and sounds hollow when tapped.

Notes

A slight glisten of butter on top as it comes out of the oven is the finishing touch. The bread, with its golden crust and soft center, is best enjoyed warm, allowing the herbed butter to melt in your mouth.

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 559mgPotassium: 84mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 400IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 0.3mg

Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.

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5 from 64 votes (64 ratings without comment)

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