I love garlic bread. Unashamedly. A few of my friends and I even went on a garlic bread-style 'pub' crawl (exchange alcohol for many types of garlic bread). And yes, it was amazing.

This, though, is the mother of all garlic bread. Packed full of garlic, caramelised red onion, and fresh herbs, all other garlic breads bow down to this loaf.

To top it all off, garlic is great for your health. While your breath might not thank you, your immune system definitely will.

Fully-Loaded Garlic Bread

  • Prep Time:2 hrs 30 mins
  • Cook Time:40 mins
  • Total Time:3 hrs 10 mins
  • Servings:16
  • Medium


  • 500 grams strong white bread flour
  • 10 grams salt
  • 14 grams instant yeast - two sachets
  • 30 grams softened butter
  • 300 millilitres cool water
  • 3 garlic bulbs
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 glug balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
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  • Step 1

    Put the flour in a large mixing bowl, putting the salt on one side and the yeast on the other.

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  • Step 2

    Add the butter and two-thirds of the water, and stir the mixture with your fingers. Add more water if it needs it – the dough will be quite wet, but shouldn’t be too sticky. (It might not need all the water though).

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  • Step 3

    Knead the dough on an oiled surface until it’s nice and smooth – probably about 5-10 minutes. Really therapeutic, and great for the arm muscles.

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  • Step 4

    Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl (so it doesn’t stick), cover with a tea towel/clingfilm/a plastic bag, and leave to prove until doubled in size. An hour minimum, but 2-3 hours is fine too!

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  • Step 5

    While the dough is proving, prepare the garlic and onions. Peel them both, and chop the onion into small pieces. Place them on a baking tray, sprinkle with oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and fresh basil leaves.

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  • Step 6

    Bake garlic at 200C for 15-20 minutes until soft and golden. Leave to cool.

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  • Step 7

    Add the cooled garlic and onion to the risen dough, then knead on a surface to knock out the air bubbles. Shape into two loaves, and place on lined baking trays.

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  • Step 8

    Place the baking trays in plastic bags for an hour, to allow the dough time to rise again. They should double in size – so feel free to give them more time if they need it.

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  • Step 9

    Bake at 200C for 25 minutes, or until they sound hollow when tapped underneath.

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  • Step 10

    Allow time to cool, then enjoy!

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Spoon Tip: try substituting the butter for a soya- or vegetable oil-based alternative to make this garlic bread vegan!

Now that you've got your garlic bread, the possibilities are endless! Keep it simple and spread slices with butter. Toast it. Turn it into bruschetta. Why not try these garlic bread pizza slices?