Meals and Courses

Buttered Garlic & Basil Sticks

prep Time 1½—2½ hours, depending on machine, plus shaping, proving and baking
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 g (13 oz) strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons fast-action dried yeast
  • 100 g (3½ oz) unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • small bunch of basil, leaves torn into pieces
  • coarse sea salt
  • black pepper

Lift the bread pan out of the machine and fit the blade. Put the dough ingredients in the pan, following the order specified in the manual. Fit the pan into the machine and close the lid. Set to the dough programme.

At the end of the programme turn the dough out on to a floured surface and cut it in half. Roll each half to a thin oval about 35 x 18 cm (14 x 7 inches). Transfer to 2 greased baking sheets and cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) strips, making cuts a little in from the edge of the dough so the strips are still held together at the ends.

Sprinkle the dough with a little coarse salt. Cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the dough has risen around the edges.

Bake in a preheated oven, 220°C (425°F), Gas Mark 7, for 8—10 minutes until the bread sounds hollow when tapped with the fingertips. Transfer to 2 large plates.

Melt a small piece of butter in a saucepan and fry the garlic for 2—3 minutes until beginning to brown. Add the remaining butter, the basil leaves and pepper to taste. When the butter has melted, brush this over the hot bread, separate into sticks and serve immediately.

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