This cheesy garlic bread is made using tangzhong or water roux method. It results in a very soft bread that stays fresh and tender for several days.
If you wonder, tangzhong is an Asian bread-making technique that involves pre-cooking some flour with water. This pre-gelatinization allows the flour to retain more water as the starch in flour absorbs hot liquid much better than lukewarm liquid used in regular yeast dough. During baking, the dough retains its greater water content and thus creating a moister bread with extended shelf life.
Making tangzhong requires an extra step but it is definitely worth the effort. I usually make it a day in advance and store it in the fridge (for no longer than one day as it will turn grey and possibly develop some wild yeast). On the next day, I leave it on the counter until it is back to room temperature and ready to use.
If you are a soft bread eater like me, you will enjoy the result of this cheesy garlic bread.
Otherwise, you will probably enjoy these cheesy recipes:
Pull-Apart Cheesy Garlic Bread
Tangzhong / water roux
- 25 g bread flour
- 125 ml water
- 350 g bread flour
- 55 g granulated white sugar
- 6 g salt
- 5 g instant yeast
- 125 ml whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 30 g butter cubed
- 33-66 g (4-8 tbsp) bread flour add-on
- 70 g butter
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 4 dried red chili (optional) chopped
- 1/4 tsp dried parsley
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 85 g shredded mozzarella cheese
- 15 g shredded mozzarella cheese
Tangzhong / water roux
- With a wooden spoon, mix flour and water in a pan until there is no lump.
- Cook over medium-low heat and keep stirring to prevent sticking and burning. Remove from heat when the mixture gets thicker (some lines will show as we stir).
- Transfer into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap sticking onto its surface and then set aside to cool.
- In a stand-mixer's bowl or big bowl if kneading by hand, combine all dry ingredients. Equip the mixer with a dough hook.
- In a separate bowl, combine milk, cooled tangzhong and egg. Mix and then add into the dry ingredients.
- Start mixing at the lowest speed then second speed. Frequently scrape the sides and bottoms of bowl with a silicone spatula when needed. If kneading by hand, simply mix with a wooden spoon in the bowl until everything is combined. Then transfer to a floured surface and start kneading.
- When it starts to become a dough, gradually add cubed butter in. The dough will become very sticky. Mix for about 8 minutes or so. During this mixing process, gradually add flour as much as needed and until the dough feels less sticky to the touch.
- Finish by kneading the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead until it is smooth, elastic and not sticky. Round up the dough and place in an oil-greased large bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Let sit for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Simply mix all ingredients until well-combined, except for the cheese.
- After the dough is doubled in size, punch out the air until it flattens. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 12 x 8 inches (30 x 20 cm) rectangle.
- Spread the butter filling onto the rectangle dough and sprinkle (85g) cheese on top.
- Cut evenly into 4 long strips. Then stack them up. Cut again into 4 even pieces.
- Transfer into a 9 x 6 inches (23 x 15 cm) loaf pan that has been buttered (pictured below). Sprinkle (15g) cheese on top.
- Bake at 325°F / 160°C for 20 minutes then reduce to 300°F / 150°C and bake for 15 more minutes.
- Let cool on cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then run a silicone spatula along the inner sides of the pan to remove it.