Roasted Garlic Bread

This is a bread I’ve had on my list for a while, and now I’m wondering what took me so long. Besides looking pretty, it’s heaven on earth for garlic lovers. That would be me, and this summer I’ve been lucky to have a virtually unlimited supply of garlic from my brother-in-law’s prolific garden. I’m happy to share this loaf for the World Bread Day event hosted by Zorra (1x umrühren bitte).

The recipe comes (with a few adaptations) from one of my favorite baking books, Maggie Glezer’s Artisan Baking. Whether you are a beginning baker or an old hand, I think you’ll love the meeting the farmers, millers, and bakers profiled therein who share a wealth of baking knowledge, skill, and recipes. This bread is from Della Fattoria, a small northern California bakery featured in the book. We don’t get their bread in my immediate neighborhood, but I can tell you that on the occasions when I have picked up one of their loaves at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market in San Francisco, I have not been disappointed.

A dusting of flour is needed to protect the parsley from burning, but most of it can be brushed away after baking to bring the green leaves into the light. Even so, I would try using a bit less flour next time. Also, in the future I will not use a fine Microplane grater to grate the cheese. It was so fluffy and voluminous that when it melted down it left a good-sized cave in the center of the bread. But I’m still pretty happy with the way this turned out – crisp-crusted, cheesy, and mouthwateringly garlicky.

Roasted Garlic Bread
(Adapted from Della Fattoria’s Rustic Roasted Garlic Bread in Artisan Baking by Maggie Glezer)

Yield: 2 loaves


  • Ferment the levain: 8 hours
  • Mix final dough: 30 minutes
  • First fermentation : 4 hours with folds at 30, 60, and 90 minutes
  • Preshape, rest, and shape: 30 minutes
  • Proof: 4 hours
  • Bake: 45 minutes

Desired dough temperature: 75F

Levain Ingredients:

Final Dough Ingredients:

  • 500 g flour
  • 390 g water
  • all of the levain
  • 12 g salt

Filling and Embellishment Ingredients:

  • 3 T. roasted garlic paste (recipe follows)
  • 60 g grated hard cheese (I used Manchego; the original recipe calls for Dry Jack or Asiago)
  • 2 whole unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 8 whole parsley or cilantro sprigs


  1. In a small bowl, combine the levain ingredients and mix with your hands until well incorporated. Cover and ferment for about 8 hours, until well expanded.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the fermented levain, flour, salt, and about 85% of the water (i.e., reserve about 60 g). Mix in low speed until combined.
  3. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing to a medium level of gluten development.
  4. Add the remaining water and mix until it is incorporated. The dough will be very soft and will not come together around the dough hook, but it should have strength and elasticity.
  5. Transfer the dough to a covered, lightly oiled container. Ferment for about 4 hours at room temperature, with folds after 30, 60, and 90 minutes. Initially the dough will be very slack and not hold its shape well, but will have significantly more body after the folds.
  6. My dough immediately after the first fold.

  7. Turn the dough into a lightly floured counter and divide it into two pieces. Preshape them into light balls and let them rest, covered, for 20 minutes.
  8. For each piece of dough: Turn the dough smooth-side down on the floured counter. Gently press it into a thick disc. Spread 1.5 T. of the garlic paste in the center of the dough and top with half the grated cheese.
  9. Pull the sides of the dough up around the filling to form a pouch. Turn the dough over and gently round the dough into a smooth ball, trying to keep the filling in the center. Pinch the seam on the bottom firmly closed.
  10. Make a small x in the center of each loaf and twist an unpeeled garlic clove into it. Wet 3 or 4 parsley or cilantro sprigs and arrange them around the garlic.
  11. Dust the loaves with flour and place them, decorated side down, into floured, linen-lined baskets.
  12. Proof at room temperature, covered, for 4 hours.
  13. Meanwhile, preheat the oven, with baking stone, to 425F. You will also need steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now.
  14. Turn the proofed loaves onto a sheet of parchment paper and slash a circle around each, about an inch from the edge.
  15. Slide the parchment paper with the loaves onto the baking stone. Bake for 10 minutes with steam, and another 25 minutes or so without steam, until the loaves are golden brown. Then turn off the oven and leave the loaves in for another 10 minutes, with the door ajar.
  16. Cool on a wire rack. Brush excess flour from the parsley with a pastry brush.
  17. Before serving, heat for 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

Roasted Garlic Paste

Yield: About 3/4 cup

Time: 1.5 hours


  • 3 whole heads of garlic
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cut about a quarter inch off the top of each garlic head to expose the raw cloves, but leave the heads whole. Remove any loose papery skin from the outside of the heads.
  3. Place each head in the cup of a muffin tin, and drizzle with about a teaspoon of olive oil each. Cover the tops of the heads with foil.
  4. Roast for about one hour until the cloves are soft.
  5. Cool until handleable, then remove the cloves from their skins.
  6. Mash together the garlic, 2 T. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. says

    What a beautiful, beautiful bread! And not just the parsley pattern with the stylish circular slash, but the color of the crust too.
    How is your wood oven coming? I first thought this bread must have been baked in it.

  2. says

    Very nicely done, Susan! I, too, have made this bread and found that by placing the cheese on the dough in an even layer, then lightly docking the dough with my fingers before gathering up the dough and forming into a boule, the void space can be minimized.

  3. says

    Wow! It is beautiful! I am going to make this, ‘cos I love garlic. Thank you for sharing the recipe and tips, Susan. I just love those holes!

  4. says

    Talk about knocking your socks off Susan! That looks wonderful. I’m right there with you on the garlic bread bench!! Hooray for the garlic team!
    I’m always amused and intrigued how we all have the same books and still come up with breads we haven’t found ;0)

  5. Kristen says

    Oh. My. God. I’m fainting just from the pictures! My local co-op just got a heap of locally grown garlic in… Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend? Thank you for sharing this one!

  6. says

    Pure heaven on earth for garlic lovers Susan. I think this is one of yours that I love most-est!! It’s special, it’s beautiful & it’s a winner!

  7. says

    I love garlic. I love cheese. I love bread. Now I think I love you.
    This is a beautiful loaf and I am putting this book on my wishlist. Happy World Bread Day!

  8. says

    This looks amazing! It’s such a beautiful loaf of bread and it looks delicious too. I love garlic bread, and it’s even better with cheese!

  9. says

    So beautiful! I’m finally making my first sourdough starter right now and I already had this bread on my list as the first sourdough to try. However, I’m still eating on the roasted garlic bread I made from Dan Lepard’s website. I recommend that one too. Sooo garlicky and delicious!

  10. says

    wow, that is beautiful.

    *sniffff* I can smell it from here…so good.

    I feel like putting in some cracked black pepper or some chopped rosemary into the dough.

  11. says

    That looks so beautiful. I probably would have chickened out about the parsley. Now after seeing this I have to try it! It’s so stunning!

  12. says

    Thats one beautiful bread! The cilantro leaves look perfect and I can’t even imagine how heavenly the combination of roasted garlic and cheese would taste!

  13. says

    I’ve made this at least 3 or 4 times in the last year and it usually turns out well!

    I went to Della Fattoria over the summer and asked if they still make this, but alas they said they hadn’t for a couple years now.

    Still, their bread is top-notch :)

  14. says

    What a gorgeous bread! It’s so so pretty, I’d feel bad about eating it. The flavors sound amazing, I’m so glad to have discovered your blog.

  15. says

    An absolutely gorgeous bread, a work of art!
    I have the book but haven’t tried that recipe. Whenever I make “special” breads filled with stuff, no one eats them (strange, huh?) but they love old fashioned garlic bread, so why not this one? I love roasted garlic. Served with spaghetti bolognaise would do the trick for me!

  16. says

    I love the parsley on top! I have that book, and that particular recipe has tempted me on many an occasion, though I never succumbed to it. Now I can see what I’m missing out on!

  17. says

    What an amazing loaf of bread. Not only does it sound delicious (I never met a clove of garlic I didn’t love) it’s beautiful! I’d love to try it….of course I could camp out at your site and make all the bread you’ve shared. Amazing.

  18. says

    I just made this bread and my only complaint is the same as yours – what’s with the cavern in the bread where the cheese was sitting? Nonetheless, it was fantastic!

  19. Margaret says

    Hi Susan, having found your website recently, I’ve spent alot of time reading…& have made Beer Bread twice! Maybe you would have a “Beginner’s Corner” in your blogs? I look forward to any advice you will give to us! I know this shows my ignorance but, what does dough do when it’s resting? And I have many other questions, do you know a source for answers?
    Sincerely, Margaret

  20. says

    Truly a work of art, Susan! When I was at Della Fattoria last summer, Kathleen, the owner, told me they stopped offering that bread because it was difficult to get it right each time. So, wow, congratulations! I will try my hand at it this summer but it will be hard to match yours…

  21. Janknitz says

    I made this bread this weekend–that was quite a project! I have a couple of questions if you are still monitoring comments on this old post:

    1) Is it common for levains to be so stiff?

    2) Can you estimate how long it took you to mix the final dough? I kept checking for a windowpane indicating the medium gluten development you describe, but I never quite got it. I finally gave up after about 15 or 20 minutes of mixing in my KA–which seemed like an awful lot, though I didn’t notice any changes to the dough after the first 5 minutes or so. And the final texture does not indicate overkneading.

    3) This was REALLY wet dough (oh my!). I wondered if I should have added ALL of those last 60 ml of water, or was there a certain texture I was going for (which I probably had BEFORE adding that last 60 ml)?

    Despite all of the above, and even though my shaping was not as perfect as yours (the cheese blew out on both loaves despite scoring), my loaves were very intensely flavored and had an awesome crumb.

    You made my weekend, thanks!

  22. says

    Susan, this is certainly one of the best rustic garlic loaves I’ve seen. Your blog is just the kick in the butt I need to get back to the olde world classic baking I used to do. Keep up the good work!

  23. bergamot says

    Wow I like the idea of this bread… right from the roasted garlic to the parsley design on the top of the loaf. This is winner. Am gonna try this sometime

  24. Ronnie Harris says

    These loaves are just about to come out of the oven just in time for when my hubby arrives home from work. Won’t he get a happy surprise! I didn’t have the parsley or cilantro so I’ve substituted flowering Thyme which is filling the kitchen with an aroma from heaven!!! Thank you so much for post this very spesh recipe.

  25. Yasmin says

    lo prepare y me quedo muy rico, no tan bonito, el aroma es increible, gracias por copartir la receta. Besos desde Venezuela

  26. says

    Your bread is beautiful – truly a work of art! Can’t wait to try it. Hope I can learn how to calculate the hydration. Thanks for all the instructions and pictures. I am so happy to have found your website. I haven’t made sourdough for several years but now I will.


  27. says

    This looks amazing. I’m so excited to try making it tonight! Just one thing, though… Is there any chance us American bakers can get the gram/cup conversion? It feels like my head is going to explode trying to convert a unit of weight to a unit of quantity!

  28. says

    Lovely! To avoid having to make conversions, get a scale that does both kinds of measuring.
    Making bread is so centering. The entire process is nurturing.

  29. Beate says

    Hello Susan,
    Your bread looks very delicious. I want to try it as soon as possible. But please can you tell me what you mean with the measurement T.
    Teespoon? Tablespoon? Or something else.
    Regards from Germany.

  30. Dave says

    Step 5 of the method indicates periodic folds, but does not say how many. Would that be one fold per period?


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