Crispy Herb & Garlic Bread Twists
I set out to make another stuffed loaf, and ended up with a crispy bread twist instead! These warm and crunch sticks are filled with parmesan cheese, fresh herbs and spices and a load of garlic. They are a perfect starter or a filling side for an Italian spread. There are quite a few steps, but they are worth it! Stuff them with whatever herbs and spices you have on hand, don't over think it. Just make sure to get them nice and crispy, and serve them warm or they will have a very dense texture otherwise.
2 tbsp. sugar
2 cups warm water, divided
2 tbsp. years
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
4.5 cups flour
1. Take 1/2 cup of warm water, and mix in 4 TBSP of white sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes, and allow for yeast to foam.
2. In the bowl of your standing mixer, add in remaining warm water, 2 tbsp table salt and olive oil. Stir by hand to dissolve salt.
3. After the 10 minutes is up on the yeast, pour mixture into main mixing bowl with other wet ingredients. Stir lightly by hand.
4. With bread hook, turn mixer on medium. Add in flour 1 cup at a time, it can take 4 1/2 - 5 cups. This dough is stiff, it will be done once it grabs the hook and starts to form a ball.
5. Remove dough from bowl, and break into two even balls. Again, this dough is tough, not fluffy, don't panic at the texture.
6. Place the two balls on a oiled baking sheet. Cover with a dry clean towel and let proof for 20 minutes. Bread is fickle depending on the weather and humidity, so if it's a cooler day (the best type of day for baking bread!), I will turn the oven on low, and open the oven door all the way, and set the sheet with the proofing down onto the open door like a tray to left the warm draft spread over it.
7. After 20 minutes, on a floured surface, punch the dough down with your knuckles. With a rolling pin, flatten your dough into even, semi-rectangular sheets.
Herb & Garlic Filling
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp. basil paste
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. thyme
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic
8. In a separate bowl, mix minced garlic, shallots, finely chopped herbs, basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
9. Spread filling evenly over one sheet of dough.
10. Place second sheet on dough on top and press down firmly.
11. Cut dough into about 2" wide strips; twist each strip into desired shape, puckering dough to reveal herbs. Place on baking sheet about 1" apart. Cover sheets with dry cloth and allow to rise in a warm area for about 45 minutes.
12. Pre-heat oven to 350*. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the edges of twists are very crunchy and crispy. Serve warm!