Somehow April is already upon us and I was very excited to learn a while ago that this month is not only National Garlic Month but also National Grilled Cheese Month. I mean, come on. Garlic and grilled cheese? Kinda a perfect combo. And because I love garlic so much I created a bread featuring this humble but amazing ingredient.
This is not your ordinary garlic bread where you take bread and slather it with garlic and butter. The garlic is actually inside the bread, perfuming the entire loaf with garlic goodness. I have been eating it for breakfast, slicing off big slabs and toasting them for my daughter and, of course, making sandwiches out of it. Grilled cheese sandwiches.
This is a fairly straight-forward dough with fairly common ingredients except for one: barley malt. I have been wanting to try out barley malt in my bread and see what is so amazing about it. Besides being incredibly sticky and kinda funky tasty, it actually did improve the texture and rise of my bread as opposed to when I used honey instead.
Happy with my barley malt results, I next tackled how to get the best garlic flavor. I tried the classic garlic/rosemary combo but the herb competed for center stage taste-wise. I roasted whole heads of garlic and incorporated that into the dough, but the subtleness of it got lost in the end result. I tried a mixture of fresh and roasted but still wasn’t satisfied with the taste. Finally I put a whopping 1/4 cup of fresh minced garlic into the recipe and finally got the garlic flavor I was looking for. That may sound like a lot of garlic, but it actually came out very nicely balanced.
As far as baking the dough, I wanted more of a rustic loaf and used my Emile Henry bread cloche. If you don’t own a bread cloche I would recommend baking on a baking/pizza stone or a preheated baking sheet. I also went with a much higher temperature and shorter bake time than I normally use.
I decided to veer away from the traditional grilled cheese since I was already putting a different spin on my garlic bread. I will readily admit that the buttered bread and gooey cheese of this iconic sandwich is sometimes a bit much for me, and I always need something to balance out the greasy richness. I blame my healthy upbringing.
I wanted to incorporate fresh uncooked ingredients into this sandwich and thought making it open-faced would be ideal. That way my bread would be toasty, my cheese melted and I could top it with a little arugula salad to balance it all out. And I decided to take it all a step further and smear the bread with my Savory Rosemary Apple Butter from last October’s post. Sweet, salty, crunchy, melty: it was a pretty ideal combination all around.
And now cheese. I used a mixture of double cream gouda, sharp cheddar and parmesan. Now why this combination? Because I like the flavors of them, plain and simple. If you are more of a fontina or blue cheese person, substitute! That is the beauty of cooking. If you don’t like something a recipe calls for, swap it out for an ingredient you do like.
Once you have all the components, this sandwich comes together very quickly since you just pop into under the broiler.
I hope you enjoy as much as I did and feel inspired to get in the kitchen. Subscribe to receive all our upcoming posts as well as bonus features for our followers!
If you need a refresher on using and assembling the Ankarsrum mixer, click HERE.
Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
1 large slice garlic bread
1-2 tablespoons Rosemary Apple Butter
3/4 cup shredded cheese of choice
large handful arugula
1 teaspoon olive oil
half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Turn oven broiler on high.
Place the slice of bread on a baking sheet and broil on each side for 30 seconds. Top with the apple butter and shredded cheese. Place under the broiler again for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.
Remove from oven and let slightly cool.
In a small bowl toss the arugula with the olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Top the grilled cheese with the arugula salad and serve immediately.
Yield: 1 sandwich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon barley malt
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic
20 ounces bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Assemble your Ankarsrum mixer using the stainless steel mixing bowl and the roller and scraper attachments.
Add the olive oil, water, barley malt, yeast and garlic and blend on low speed (2 o’clock) until combined. Add half the flour and mix until incorporated. Add the remaining flour and salt and turn the speed up to medium-high (between 3 and 4 o’clock). Set the timer for 10 minutes and let it knead. Once the timer has ended, cover and let the dough rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a round ball. Place on a bread cloche or baking sheet, cover and let rise until doubled, approximately 30 minutes.
About 20 minutes into the second rise, preheat the oven to 460°. If using a baking stone, place into preheating oven.
Slash the top of the dough with a serrated knife and brush with water. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown on top and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
Let cool completely before cutting into.
Yield: 1 large loaf
WHOLE WHEAT VERSION:
-Substitute the bread flour with equal parts whole wheat flour. Follow the recipe above.
-If you mill at home, use a hard red wheat.