“Who doesn’t love garlic bread? And this tear and share style is always a winner. I’ve written the recipe for 12, because it’s an easier quantity of dough to work with. What I like to do is make up both trays of bread, then whack one in the freezer, ready to bake another day – you won’t regret it. ”
This recipe works great as a stand-alone dish, but also as a component in Jamie’s Christmas Party from Together – see the full collection of menus here.
GET AHEAD You can do this on the day, if you prefer. Pour 325ml of tepid water into a large bowl. Add the yeast and mix with a fork for 2 minutes. Pour in the flour and a good pinch of sea salt, then use a fork to mix until you can’t move it any more. Now, get your clean hands in there and bring it together as a ball of dough, adding more flour, if needed, to stop your hands and the dough sticking. Knead on a flour-dusted surface for 5 minutes, or until silky and elastic. Shape into a rough ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp tea towel, and prove in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, tear the bread into a blender and blitz into crumbs. Rub two 20cm x 30cm trays with olive oil, then evenly scatter over the breadcrumbs. Tear the top leafy half of the parsley into the blender. Peel and add the garlic, then blitz until fine. Squeeze in the lemon juice, add the cream cheese, blitz again until smooth, then season to perfection, tasting and tweaking.
Knock the air out of the dough by punching it with your fist, then divide into two. One piece at a time, pull and stretch out on an oiled surface to 30cm x 50cm. Spread over half the cream cheese mixture, leaving a 5cm border along the longer side that’s farthest away from you. Now, take your time to roll up the dough, starting in front of you, so you end up with a long Swiss roll shape. With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 18 pieces, then place in the tray, swirl-side up, arranging them fairly close together. Cover and prove in the fridge overnight (45 minutes, or until doubled in size, if making on the day).
TO SERVE Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Uncover and bake on the top shelf for 20 minutes, or until golden. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, to serve.
THE FREEZER IS YOUR FRIEND
With the second tray of garlic bread, shape and prove for 45 minutes, then cover and freeze until needed. Simply bake from frozen for 25 minutes.