Garlic Bread

Friends, I have to tell you something difficult today.

I have been struggling with this for a long time.

But I shall confess. Now.

I love Domino’s Pizza. I love it.

It’s shameful. I have heard plenty of criticism when I first aired the truth about me. I heard people gasp. I actually had a friend unfriend me on Facebook after one such pizza love post. I guess she couldn’t take me raving about pizza with loads of pineapple and salami and jalapeno and cheese.

 Such is life. Sad.

But apart from the pizza, I also love the Garlic Bread they make. Unfortunately, since my oven conked out   I lost enthusiasm for baking last year, my house has been a sad place. A sad, sad place.

Garlic bread on Stovetop

But then, I was browsing through the net, and I came across a recipe at Bharatzkitchen on YouTube, and I was checking the comments section, and someone claimed that he had made the bread in his pressure cooker. That made me think. Could I make mine in a small pan with a tight lid?

Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I rummaged through my pantry to discover that I had virtually everything to make the damn thing, including the yeast. But, I had only garlic powder. No chopped garlic as this particular video suggested. So, as usual, I started to deviate. But the recipe made two lovely garlic breads which fit snugly on my 9-inch frying pan, and The Sister declared them to be divine.

Start with the yeast. I used active dry yeast here, and put half a teaspoon (roughly 3 gm) into a bowl. I added 1/2 cup of water and 1 teaspoon sugar. I stirred the mixture for a minute or so, and then left the premises of the kitchen to loiter around for a bit.

Ahem.

Well.

Next, I returned to the kitchen after 15 minutes, and melted a tablespoon of butter over very low heat till the butter was just about melted. Once that particularly delicious act was done, I let it be.

At this point, the yeast looked frothy and little bubbles formed on top of it. I figured my yeast had become nice and ready, so I poured it in a pan where I had kept 150 gm. plain flour sprinkled with 1 teaspoon oregano flakes, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. I mixed everything with my hands, and then added the melted butter. I kneaded the dough, adding more flour as I went, till the dough was soft and pliable, but not sticky. It took around 15 minutes for this particular miracle to happen.

Garlic Bread Dough

Now, it is my sole duty to drown people in olive oil, so I added a tablespoon of that to the dough and punched everything well. Then, taking a large bowl (which I greased with more olive oil), I put the dough inside it, covered it loosely with some clingfilm, and again left the premises for a couple of hours.

The question at this point was – what do I use to add the crunch factor? Bharatzkitchen suggested either makki ka atta, aka cornmeal, or sooji, aka semolina. I had both but I decided to go with cornmeal. I spread some of it on a plate.

Garlic Bread taking shape

Then, carefully, I divided my garlic bread dough, which had, at this point, risen up quite nicely, into two parts. I used my hands to roughly shape it into a circle, and then pressed it down on the plate of cornmeal, adding a bit of pressure to spread the dough further but never really making it too thin to allow holes to develop.

Once I was satisfied that the dough was mostly a circle and not too thick or thin, I folded it in half, and placed it on a nonstick pan which I had greased well first. The same thing was done to the other piece of dough as well, and placed them slightly separate from one another, so that they have plenty of space to play. Let them rest for sometime, I said to myself, and left them alone for 10 minutes. Then, enough, I thought, and used a sharp knife to make incisions on them – not all the way through, though – just enough for them to be pulled apart easily. Now, they were ready to be cooked.

Then, well, I covered the pan with the lid, turned on the gas, lowered the temperature to a simmer, and left premises for 15 minutes. I came back, removed the lid, added a good glob of olive oil to the pan, then turned each of them over, so that the other side could get cooked and colored too. Covered pan, left premises for 10 minutes. Came back, without touching the pan, switched off the gas and let the bread rest for 10 minutes before I attempted removal. They slid out easily enough, and the sister snatched hers from my plate before I could take a decent photo. Thus, you are left with gut shots mostly.

I served this with some plain cheese spread. My sister moaned after her first bite. And I am grinning still.

Garlic Bread Cooked in a Pan
Written by Poorna Banerjee

Leave a Comment