Sunday, January 16, 2005

Garlic Bread - the REAL thing!

If you go through all the trouble of making Italian bread - whether it be sourdough or your favorite recipe, PLEASE, do NOT ruin it by slathering, soaking, or otherwise decimating it with tons of grease and garlic powder and/or garlic salt! Garlic bread is a Sicilian thing that requires a delicate hint of garlic and the best olive oil you can afford.

• 1 loaf of fresh Italian bread
• 2-3 cloves of garlic - peeled and cut in half lengthwise
• Olive oil

Cut 1" thick slices of Italian bread. Place on pan under the broiler. When toasted to your liking, turn bread over and toast the second side. Remove toasted bread, rub one side of the bread with the sliced garlic buds, then lightly spritz the slices with olive oil. Try it! Everyone I know who has made it this way, has never gone back to the grease soaked, bitter garlicky stuff they used to make.

Anise Pecan/Raisin Rolls

Dough Ingredients

2 packages of yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
5 cups flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp Crushed Anise seed

To make dough: Soften yeast in warm water with 1 teaspoon of sugar for 10 minutes. Scald milk and pour into large bowl. Add remaining sugar and salt and cool. Stir yeast into cooled milk mixture, beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in 2 cups flour, mix well. Add oil and beat well. Add the remaining flour and mix well. A bread machine works well here FOR KNEADING ONLY. Let rest 10 minutes. Knead dough on a floured surface for an additional 1-minute. Put dough into oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place 1 hour. Punch down dough and let rise again for 45 minutes. Punch down dough again and divide into 2 pieces.

Roll each half into a rectangle and fill the middle of the dough with the raisen mixture..

Roll up each filled rectangle like a jelly roll - wetting where the ends join - to seal the roll. Cut into 12 slices. Place slices, cut side down into prepared pan. Let rise 45 minutes. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 20 minutes. Let dough cool in pan 5 minutes. Loosen sides with a knife if needed, then invert onto rack to cool.

Filling Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins

Mix all ingredients together. Sprinkle half of filling onto each rectangle and roll up.

Pan Preparation

6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups pecan halves

Pour melted butter into a 13x9-inch baking pan coating the bottom. Sprinkle brown sugar over butter in pan. Heat on stove until the brown sugar is dissolved/melted into the butter. Sprinkle pecan halves over brown sugar and spread so the pecans are evenly distributed.

These can be assembled and placed in baking pan before you head out. When you get back from church, they will be ready to put in oven.

Makes 24-rolls.