My vegan garlic herb bread is a showstopper like no other. It's gorgeous, but so easy to make you practically can't go wrong. Bursting with flavour and beginner friendly.
Why this recipe works
- The crunch of this bread is like no other.
- A real showstopper!
- A lot easier to make than it looks.
- So much better than store-bought garlic bread!
- Easily to customise (simply use any herbs you want)
You'll find full instructions including US and EU measurements below. But first, let's see what you'll need.
To make your delicious vegan garlic herb bread you'll need:
A Few Ingredient Notes
Basil: I used fresh basil.
Coriander (cilantro in the US): I used fresh coriander.
Parsley and thyme: I used both of these dried.
Oil: I suggest using a light vegetable oil such as olive or sunflower oil.
Yeast: I used instant yeast (sometimes called quick-rise yeast or fast-acting yeast).
This is a quick & foolproof visual guide through the recipe.
*A detailed (including measurements) recipe card that you can print is waiting for you at the bottom of this post.
1. Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl. Add oil, then the flour, and lastly salt (on top of the flour).
2. Stir the mixture until it comes together to form a dough. Turn the dough and knead for 5-10 minutes until it springs back when touched.
3. Shape into a ball, cover and leave to rise for an hour (or until doubled in size). In the meantime, make your filling by mixing all the filling ingredients.
4. Once risen use your fists to knock the air out of the dough.
5. Use your hands to shape the dough into a rough rectangle. Then roll it out into a thin rectangle.
6. Divide the filling equally over the dough.
7. You want a thick and short roll so start rolling the dough on one of the short sides.
8. To twist your dough, cut a slit down the middle of the roll, leaving the top part uncut.
9. Turn the filling to the outside, revealing the herb paste dressing.
10. Fold one part of the roll over the other, keeping the filling exposed.
11. Repeat until you've reached all the way to the bottom.
12. Finish by pinching the two halves together and tucking the pinched part under the loaf.
13. Cover with cling film (use glasses to hold up the cling film to prevent from touching the dough) for a final proof of 45 minutes.
14. Once the loaf has proofed (doubled in size) brush your loaf with almond milk and bake for 30-35 minutes at 190°C / 374°F (fan oven setting) until golden brown.
My Top Tips
1. Use bread flour
I can't stress the importance of this enough. This recipe simply won't work unless you use bread flour.
Wondering why? Bread flour is higher in protein and has better gluten development. This results in a fluffy, crunchy, well-shaped bread.
Plain flour, on the other hand, builds up less stretch in the dough and causes the dough to tear when baked.
2. Separate your yeast and salt
Salt will kill your yeast and inhibit the rise. This is why it's important to keep the yeast and salt separated until you form your dough.
3. Don’t use hot water
Another yeast destroyer is hot water! Make sure to use lukewarm (not hot) water. The water should be warm to the touch, but not burning hot or cold.
Find out why hot water can kill yeast here.
4. Knead until the dough springs back
Another friendly tip from someone that's baked this exact bread a dozen times.
Make sure that you knead your dough for long enough. If your dough is under-kneaded, it will lose its distinct shape when baked.
To get that gorgeous twist, make sure to knead until the dough springs back when you press your fingers into it.
5. Pinch the end
The key to creating a lovely twist shape? The pinch and fold! By pinching and folding your dough at the bottom you will prevent it from unravelling in the oven.
There are a few things that can prevent the dough from rising.
It usually means the yeast has been deactivated. High temperature can deactivate your yeast and inhibit the rise of the bread, so when you add your water make sure it's warm to the touch but not hot. If in doubt, always go for a bit colder rather than warmer.
Salt can also kill your yeast so make sure that your salt doesn't touch the yeast until you stir your mixture to form a dough.
A great way to ensure this is to first add the flour on top of the yeast. Then make a small well in the flour and pour the salt into that well.
The loaf can lose its twisty shape if the dough is too wet. This won't affect the flavour at all, but try adding a bit less water next time if you want a well-defined twist shape.
If you’ve added the exact amount of water and flour then your dough might be under-kneaded. This means the gluten in the bread is not strong enough to hold the twist shape.
Make sure to knead for longer next time. Knead until the dough springs back when you lightly press your finger against it.
This means your bread hasn't risen properly. A bad rise can happen when some or all of the yeast has been deactivated.
If your dough doubled in size after the first rise then your yeast was doing its job well. It might be the case the second rise wasn’t long enough or might have been in a cold place.
Additionally, you might have over kneaded the dough the second time (when shaping your twist) which caused it to be too tense and prevented it from rising properly.
Store your loaf in an airtight container or bread tin for up to 4 days. Please do mind that this bread is by far the most delicious when eaten fresh, preferably on the first day.
Yes. Freeze after baking and save for up to a month. To serve simply take out of the freezer the night before and leave to thaw at room temperature.
Possible Ingredient Substitutions
Here are a few ways you could substitute the ingredients in this bread.
- Oil – Any light vegetable oil will work but use a good quality oil as you will get the flavour coming through.
- Almond milk – any plant milk will work for brushing so don’t worry if you haven’t got almond milk at hand. Tip: do make sure you're using unsweetened plant milk and avoid coconut milk due to it's strong taste.
- Basil and other herbs - not a fan of some of the herbs in this recipe? No problem. Don't feel obliged to use exactly the same herbs as the ones listed in the recipe. You can experiment with various other ones such as oregano and chives.
If you liked my vegan garlic herb bread, make sure to check out my other favourite bread recipes. Some of the most popular ones are the orange cardamom bun, blueberry knot buns and dinner rolls. Or you can check out my entire recipes section here.
Thanks for sticking with me until the end! Happy bread-making!
Vegan Garlic Herb Bread
- Rolling Pin
- Baking paper and tray
- Kitchen scales or cup measurements
FOR THE BREAD
- 205 ml lukewarm water
- 3,5 g instant yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil or any other light oil
- 325 g strong white bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk for brushing only
FOR THE FILLING
- 60 g vegan butter
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 2 tbsp dried thyme
- 6 tbsp fresh coriander
- 7 tbsp fresh basil
- ½ tsp salt
FOR THE BREAD
- Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl.
- Add oil, flour, and lastly salt (on top of the flour).
- Stir the mixture until it comes together to form a rough dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until it springs back when touched. Shape into a ball.
- Place the dough into an oiled bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for an hour (or until doubled in size).
- In the meantime prepare your filling (instructions in the Filling section below).
- Once risen, turn out your dough onto a floured surface and use your fists to knock the air out of the dough (for 5-10 seconds).
- Shape the dough into a rough rectangle and then roll into a thin rectangle (aim at roughly about 0.5-1 cm thick, 35 cm long and 20cm wide - US measurements 0.4x14x8 inch).
- Spread the filling equally over the dough.
- You want a thick and short roll so start rolling the dough on one of the short sides.
- Once rolled, cut a slit down the middle of the roll, leaving the top part uncut.
- Turn the filling to the outside. Then fold one strand over the other and repeat until you've reached the bottom. Keep the filling exposed (you want to see those beautiful layers).
- Finish by pinching the bread together at the bottom of the twist. Tuck the pinched bit under the loaf.
- Place the loaf on a baking tray for a final proof of 45 minutes.
- Whilst the loaf is proofing pre-heat your oven to 190°C / 374°F - fan oven setting. If you're not using a fan oven, bake at 210°C / 410°F.
- Once the loaf has proofed brush it with almond milk and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
FOR THE FILLING
- Place all the filling ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until a rough paste has formed.
- If you have no food processor (or blender), you can mix the filling ingredients by hand using a fork. Simply press down the dairy-free butter until it's creamier and then stir vigorously to mix all the ingredients well. Cutting the fresh herbs very thinly will help make the mixing easier.
- Use bread flour. Bread flour is higher in protein and will have better gluten development, resulting in a fluffy, well-shaped bread. Plain flour will build up less stretch in the dough and will cause the dough to tear when baked.
- Keep the salt and yeast separate until you start mixing.
- Hot temperature will kill the yeast so make sure to use lukewarm (not hot) water.
- Pinch the end of your dough tightly and tuck under. The pinch and fold will prevent the twist from unravelling so it's key to creating that lovely twist shape.