This Vegan Garlic Herb Bread is quite easily the most addictive bread ever. Long before I even pulled it out of the oven, all hot and golden and delicious, the fragrance of olive oil mixed with garlic and thyme had begun to drive me a little crazy. The minute it was actually done, I had to do all I could to stop myself from tearing in and stuffing it into my mouth. Every last, scrumptious morsel of it. Waiting for Desi to take these pictures was nothing short of torture.
With a kid in the house who shares my love for all things savory, this garlic herb pull apart bread was an instant winner. And rather fun to pull apart. It’s fluffy and part whole wheat, and far healthier than the cheesy versions you’ll often find out there. But it’s also incredibly tasty. Some lemon zest added to the herb-garlic-olive-oil mixture adds a pop of freshness.
The technique for pull-apart breads is rather simple, especially when you consider how beautiful the end result is. For this sandwich bread, all you need to do is roll out the dough, brush on the wonderful herb-garlic-zest-olive-oil mixture, and then cut it up with a pizza cutter into squares that will fit inside your loaf pan. Stack the squares up and you’re pretty much done.
This recipe makes two loaves– an absolute imperative because there’s no way you are going to be satisfied with just one. But if you have to, halve it for one loaf.
Try it. You’ll be in love.
- 4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 1 cup warm nondairy milk like almond or hemp or soy
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- To brush on:
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme (can use other herbs like rosemary or sage or a mix)
- 6 cloves garlic crushed into a paste
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt to taste
- Mix the olive oil with thyme, lemon zest, garlic and salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water. Let stand five minutes until yeast is frothy.
- Add the remaining water, olive oil, nondairy milk, sugar, salt, and apple cider vinegar and mix.
- Add 1 cup of bread flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour and mix well. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and more bread flour, a little at a time, until you have a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Continue kneading for about 10 minutes.
- Form the dough into a smooth ball, place in a large bowl sprayed with oil, cover, and set in a warm place to rise for an hour or until doubled.
- Remove the dough, knead it to deflate, and divide into two portions.
- Let the dough rest about 10 minutes, then roll into a square about 12 inches across. Brush on half the olive-oil-herb mixture evenly.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 12 squares.
- Stack the squares one over the other and place into a loaf pan sprayed with oil. Repeat for the other half of dough.
- Brush any of the remaining olive oil mixture on the tops. Cover the loaf pans with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise, about an hour or until the loaves has mushroomed over the top.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake the loaves for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking another hour.
- Remove the loaf pans to a rack to cool, unmold after about 15 minutes, then dig in.