Soft or Toasty, this Homemade Garlic Bread Stick can be made either way. Great to serve with pasta, soup, salad or as an appetizer.
Bread sticks are great are long sticks of dried bread that are commonly served with pasta, salad or soup. Sometimes it is also served as an appetizer, it can come as plain, buttered, oiled or sometimes with herbs and cheese on top. This Garlic Bread Stick recipe can be made both soft style, or the toasty dried style.
What to Expect fro this Garlic Bread Stick
Let us talk about what you can expect from this Homemade Garlic Bread Stick so we can set the expectation. First of all, this is not going to have the same texture as soft and fluffy Dinner Rolls that we all love. It will be soft, but not as soft and fluffy as Dinner Rolls. What I want to achieve here is more like the chewy bread texture, slightly drier and dense. Not as hard as crunchy as dried bread stick but more like in between soft and dried texture. The texture of this garlic bread is great for pairing with salad, pasta and soup, or for dipping in some balsamic vinaigrette. I have 2 ways that you can make it. If you prefer it slightly soft or if you like it crunchy and slightly dried or really dry. I give that choice to you.
Garlic Bread Stick, 2 Ways
Now, let’s talk about the 2 ways for this Garlic Bread Stick. Here are the options:
- Soft Garlic Bread Stick – You can serve this as a soft garlic bread. After baking, brush the bread with garlic butter or olive oil garlic then serve it as is.
- Toasty Garlic Bread Stick: This version is slightly toasted and dry garlic bread stick. To do this, after baking, brush the bread with the garlic butter mixture then return to oven or a toaster and bake for another 8 – 10 minutes. You can adjust the baking time, the longer the time the more toasted and crunchy the garlic bread. You can also use oven toaster and toast the bread just like when toasting a bread. In my counter top oven, I used the toast setting and toasted it for 5 minutes. The heat of the toaster or oven depends in the model/brand/setting, adjust as needed.
Whichever method you use, just remember, the longer the baking or toasting, the crunchier and drier the garlic bread.
There is Nothing to be Scared of Homemade Bread
It’s been a while since I made this soft garlic bread, I think it’s about time I revisit it again. Garlic bread is one of my favorite bread to pair with pasta or stew, although a lot of times I toast it and just have it on its own. That’s the beauty of this bread, you don’t need to fancy it up with stuffing to actually enjoy it on its own. This garlic bread stick can be soft or toasty, this is very simple to make, just the basic ingredients and easy steps to follow. I know that bread making could sometimes be scary and the use of yeast could also be intimidating. If you read through the steps, you would see that it is not the case, it’s really easy and simple. It may need some arm exercise if you don’t have a stand mixer or bread maker to make the kneading faster, but it still doable. Besides, what is a few arm exercise if you are getting this garlic bread freshly bake at your home?
Why is My Dough Too Wet or Too Dry?
Don’t get frustrated if your dough did not turn out immediately as what you see in the photo or video. Most likely It is not because you did not follow the recipe. When it comes to bread making, the amount of flour and liquid is not always 100% precise. This is way often times you will encounter recipes that says, if your dough is dry, add a bit more liquid. If your dough is too wet, add a little bit more flour. This instructions are not meant to confuse you, they are meant to guide you on how to adjust as you work through your dough. The reason for this is that although the measurement of water and flour are specified in the recipe, it still could slightly vary depending on many factors. For instance, all-purpose flour could very from country to country, or even from brand to brand. Don’t be surprise if you find that some brand tends to require a bit more liquid as the others. On top of this, the amount of liquid is also affected by the state of your flour. How old is the flour that you are using? Older flour nearing expiry tends to be drier and this requires more liquid. Bread making requires patience, and practice. Once you learn how to feel the right texture of the dough, everything will be quick and easy. You can instantly tell if you need to add more water or flour to get the dough in right state.
Tips for a Successful Homemade Bread
- Check Yeast Expiry a Date – you might be wondering how come the bread did not rise when you followed exactly the recipe. Well, first thing first, make sure the yeast is not yet expired.
- Liquid Temperature – Yeast grows in temperature between 110 – 115F, so it is important to have the water that you are using to “proof” it in this range. If you go lower or higher, the yeast might not proof properly. That means the bread will not rise as much, resulting to a flat and tough bread. If you do not have kitchen thermometer, microwave the water (from the faucet) about 15 – 20 seconds. Feel it with your fingers, it sound be lukewarm not hot.
- Amount of Yeast – Just because you want a tall fully bread doesn’t mean you have to put as much yeast in the mixture. Sometimes if you add too much, it will have a tendency to collapse. Just imagine putting more air than what is needed in a balloon, the balloon will explode. The same case with bread.
- Right Type of Yeast – We’ve discussed the 3 types of yeast above. Make sure to use the right one for your recipe, and make necessary adjustments if you want to swap one from another.
- Flour Measurement is not exact all the time, but with only minimal difference. Sometimes it could be plus 2 – 4 tbsp more, this is why I always set aside about 1/4 cup in case I need to add more. If you measure the liquid properly, and still the dough turn out dry, then it could be that the flour moisture is either dryer than usual. Dry flour requires more liquid, and lighter flour requires less liquid. This could depend on the brand of the flour and the age of the flour, and of course flour could vary from country to country. The nearer the flour gets to expiry date, the more that it gets dryer. If you are like me who doesn’t monitor the expiry date, then you just have to feel the dough if it needs additional flour. You want it to be still soft and moist but not too sticky. Moist but enough to form the dough into a ball. My test is a bowl with clean side, while the dough still slightly stick at the bottom. This gives a soft dough.
- Rest Period – Yeast bread needs time to rise. There are bread that uses less yeast but requires more rest time, the likes of No Knead Bread or Artisan Bread which usually require 8- 16 hours rest period to get the volume and to develop the flavor. There are 1 hour bread like my Rosemary Dinner Rolls which used this same bread dough. Resting the dough is imperative to allow the gluten to relax and to allow the dough to rise. A well rested dough will rise better, will created pockets or air, and will make a light and soft bread. Remember, 2 rest period. First at least 1 hour and another 30 minutes for the second rest period. It’s worth the wait, promise.
- 1/4 cup Warm Water (110F) – Microwave tap water for 20 seconds
- 1 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 2 tablespoon Flavorless Oil
- 1 clove Garlic – minced
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoon Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond Milk)
- 1 cup Bread Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
For the Garlic Coating:
- 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 2 tablespoon melted salted Butter ( If using unsalted, add 1/8 teaspoon salt)
- 2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (or any herbs you have like Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary will work too. Mix them together.)
Note: If you do not have a stand mixer, manually mix the dough in a large bowl until it starts to come together and form into a ball. Transfer it to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 – 10 minutes. It might take a little bit longer but it is doable.
Prepare the Garlic Oil Mixture: In a heated pan, add 2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 clove garlic and Italian seasoning. Cook for about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Activate the Yeast: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if you are doing it manually) fitted with the hook attachment, add water and honey then manually stir until honey slowly dissolve. Add the yeast and let stand for 10 minutes until it starts to foam.
Add wet ingredients: Add milk to the yeast mixture then stir.
Add dry ingredients: Add bread flour, salt garlic oil mixture. Using the stand mixer, in low-speed (speed 2) mix until ingredients have formed a smooth dough (around 15 minutes). If the dough is too sticky to form into a ball add 1 tablespoon flour. The dough should be smooth, soft, elastic and slightly sticky. The side of the bowl clean and the dough slightly stick at the bottom of the pan.
- If doing manually, mix (use the handle of spatula or any sturdy object) until combined then transfer into a floured surface and manually knead the dough until it forms into a ball. The dough should be smooth, soft, elastic and slightly sticky.
Let rise: Transfer to a large oiled bowl (I used olive oil spray to do this), cover with a warm, damp towel and let rise for 1 hour. (It’s best to let the dough rise in a warmer area of your kitchen).
Tip to help the dough rise better: To help the dough rise well, put inside the oven which had been pre-heated to 110F. Once it reached 110F, turn OFF the oven. DO NOT forget to turn it OFF, you only want the oven to warm up for the dough to rise, you do not want to dough to be baked. Some oven has a proofing setting, mine doesn’t, so this is my trick.
Divide the dough: Transfer dough to floured surface and knead just to knockout the air inside, then divide into 8 portions. I used kitchen scale to do this, you can also do it manually and just estimate. You can adjust the portion and make it smaller or bigger as desired. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. The extra 15 minutes resting period will help relax the gluten and will make the shaping easier. Unrested dough can have a tendency to resist stretching.
Shape the dough: Roll the dough lengthwise into 10-inch long. Please note that the shorter the length, the thicker and wider the garlic stick after 2nd rest period.
Arrange in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. Dust flour on top, use a sieve or strainer for easy dusting.
Let rise Second time: Let the dough rise for another 30 more minutes (again, using the trick in step 4) until it puffs slightly. No need to cover the dough.
Bake: Pre-heat the oven to 350F and bake it for 15 minutes or until top starts to brown.
Cool: Transfer garlic bread to a cooling rack to cool.
Make the Garlic Butter: In a small pan, mix butter, garlic and Italian seasoning. Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes just until fragrant. Do not let the stage that the garlic turn brown.
For Soft Garlic Bread Stick Variation: Brush top of the bread with garlic butter and sprinkle some flaky salt (optional).
For Toasted Garlic Bread Stick: Brush top of the bread with garlic butter and sprinkle some flaky salt (optional). Return to the oven and bake at 350F for 8 minutes. For more toasted and crunchy garlic bread stick, bake longer (about 10 – 12 minutes). Alternatively, you can do this in an oven toaster. In my counter top oven, set to toast, I toasted it for 5 minutes. Please take note that the length of time depends on how hot the setting in your oven toaster. Adjust as needed.
Makes 8 pieces (10-inch long each)
For the Garlic Glaze:
- Chop garlic into small pieces and transfer it into a small microwaveable bowl. Add herbs of your choice then microwave for about 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Do not microwave into a long straight time. Do it gradually and return in the microwave as needed to melt the butter. You can also do this on a stove top if you don’t want to use microwave.
- You can substitute bread flour with all-purpose flour, although there will be a difference in texture but it will still taste great. Bread flour has more protein which helps gluten development which gives the chewy and dense texture in bread.
Looking for a Soft Garlic Bread?
Your wish is my command. If you are hoping for a soft style garlic bread, then look no further because I have just the recipe for you. This Soft Garlic Bread is soft and infused with homemade garlic and herbs oil. A great bread to go with soup, salad, main dishes and even just to enjoy it on its own. This recipe includes both measurement for small and big batch so whether you are making it for one, two or more people, I got you covered.
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