A cooking and baking journal

We Call it "Spaghetti Bread"

12-17-10: Spaghetti Bread

If anyone was to ask me, "What is comfort food for you?" the first dish that comes to mind is our homemade spaghetti sauce. Our spaghetti sauce, in all its goodness, consists of our tomato puree combined with our farm grown peppers, onions, and garlic as well as spices such as basil, marjoram, oregano, etc.

My family has been having our own spaghetti sauce almost every single week of the year for as long as I can remember. Every time I think of this meal I think of two things: my Papa (who pulls all the listed ingredients together and makes the masterpiece), and our farm's bounty. Two very comforting things for me! Now, I could give you the recipe for this sauce, but there really isn't one (it seems to be evolving every single time it's made), and even if I do concoct a written recipe, it wouldn't be like ours. I would need to send you our puree and veggies to make it legitimate!

Now, there is something else that is as old as our spaghetti tradition, but it hasn't had a very good reputation. It is called Spaghetti Bread. Spaghetti bread is a yeast bread done in the bread machine that has dried herbs and grated cheese added. If done right, it is absolutely perfection with a spaghetti dinner. But perfection has been reached few times with this bread. Almost every time we attempted to wrestle this recipe, we would find a deflated loaf at the bottom of our bread machine. Let me tell you, it is enough to bring tears to your eyes.

We came up with a lot of theories on the cause of these mishaps: too much water, too little, acid in the spices, too much salt, etc. etc. etc. So we kept on trying new versions of the recipe, taking out some of this, adding some of that. . . But nothing worked until a couple Fridays ago.

My Papa thought, "Why not use the wheat setting on the bread machine and add the garlic, cheese, and spices at the time the machine alerts you to add addition flavorings, such as raisins and cinnamon?"

Sounded good to me! I gave it a go, following his specific instructions, and it turned out perfectly. It was one of the tallest Spaghetti Breads we ever saw.

See what I mean?

This is what I did from start to finish:

Spaghetti Bread
Yield: 1 pound loaf

  • 9 oz. warm water (about 115 degrees F)
  • 4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt

Dough Flavoring Ingredients:
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning


To bread pan, add water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and proof for 10-15 minutes. Next add bread flour, oil, and salt. Set machine to "Whole Wheat" setting (#3) and "Medium" (A).

Now to make some garlic puree. (I learned about this technique from The Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook.) Take garlic, with the skin and stem still on, and wrap it in one layer of aluminum foil. Place garlic foil packet into 375 F oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, open packet, and allow garlic head to cool. Once cool, cut off the stem and squeeze garlic from skins. The garlic now resembles a paste and can easily be incorporated into the bread dough.

Combine cheese, spices, and garlic in a small bowl.

Machine will beep 1 hr 26 min after you press the START button on the machine, (or when bread time display reads 2:34), that is when you should add the garlic, cheese, and spice mixture to the bread pan.

All in all, it takes 4 hours for the machine to make the bread.

Garlic Puree Technique--Up Close. . .

Bread Machine Setting--Up Close. . .

Now, I suppose you can easily do this without the help of a bread machine, but I haven't given it a try yet. If I ever do I'll come back to this post and document it.

And here is one final glimpse of perfection. . .


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