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The prettiest Swirled Garlic Herb Bread…that’s so much easier than you might think. This light, doughy, and super soft bread is swirled with herb butter, hinted lightly with garlic, and makes for the most delicious and extra fancy companion to your dinner table. It’s easy, but impressive, and best served warm right out of the oven with just a little smear of butter. You will LOVE this bread. Bonus? This is a great way to use up all the end of summer herbs from the garden.

overhead photo of Swirled Garlic Herb Bread on cutting board with 2 pieces sliced

With Labor Day behind us, I’m ready to slowly start transitioning into the season the brings all the coziest recipes. I know it’s only the 3rd of September, and that the temperatures may still be warm, but autumn is in the air, especially around here. I couldn’t be more excited about this, as I said on Sunday, it’s my favorite season.

We had the nicest Labor Day weekend here in Colorado. Our weather is just perfect right now. I spent most of the long weekend prepping for a photoshoot we have this Saturday. I also planned out content for the coming months (my never-ending list of fall recipes just keeps growing). And I worked on some wedding cake details for my brother’s wedding that’s only one week from this Saturday.

And I finally got to spend some much needed one on one time with little sister, Asher. Her birthday was Friday, and while we didn’t do anything crazy or exciting I enjoyed getting to spend a couple of hours with her Saturday night. Someone messaged me on Instagram commenting on the fact that Asher seems like such an old soul, so mature for her age, and it’s so true. She’s only eleven but can keep a good conversation with just about any adult. Truly a special little girl.

dough log after slicing in half lengthwise

(dough log after slicing in half lengthwise)

dough log sliced in half and twisted to show the inside before braiding

With September here, my focus has shifted to a bit to cozier recipes. Recipes that are perfect for things like Sunday night dinner with the family, a simple gathering with friends, or tailgating before Sunday’s game (can you believe football starts on Thursday?).

Enter in this swirled garlic herb bread. It’s so pretty and so delicious. It’s going to be perfect for all your upcoming Sunday night family dinners, and gatherings with friends on fall evenings.

And the best part…while I mean, aside from the taste…while this bread may look super complicated to make, it’s really fairly simple. If you’re a visual person like me, the pictures within this post are going to be VERY helpful, so study them closely.

Swirled Garlic Herb Bread before baking

(dough after twisting)

Swirled Garlic Herb Bread | halfbakedharvest.com #garlicbread #herbbread #homemadebread

(dough after the 1st coil)

Swirled Garlic Herb Bread on counter before baking

With that, let me tell you about all the little details of this swirly, herby bread.

First, the dough. I used my go-to base dough recipe for soft breads. It’s kind of a mix between an eggy brioche bread and a more simple dinner roll type bread. It has your basic bread dough ingredients – milk, yeast, a touch of honey, eggs, flour, butter, and salt. Nothing new here, but yet still so good.

The real flavor in this bread is hidden between the layers. Or better yet, between the swirls, and it’s in the form of herb butter with garlic. The classic go-to flavors that I am craving so much of right now…

Well, that and the fact our herb garden is so full of end of summer herbs. So full that some of the basil is blossoming and becoming dry. Meaning, I need to use it up fast. So that’s kind of the reason for all the herb-filled recipes as of late. The good news is that I love herbs and I don’t mind using them in literally everything…even my cocktails.

overhead photo of Swirled Garlic Herb Bread before slicing

For the butter, I used a mix of basil, thyme, and sage, BUT you all can use whatever herb combination you love most. I’m sure a touch of oregano or maybe some parsley would be great!

And another note…use salted butter and only just the right amount of garlic. The salted butter is key because it adds that special touch that makes everyone go back for a second slice, or two. For the garlic, I like to use 1-2 cloves. You want the flavor, but you don’t want it to overpower the bread, just a subtle hint.

close up photo of Swirled Garlic Herb Bread

Now, the rolling and twisting process.

I promise, this is not as scary as it looks. If you’ve made cinnamon rolls before you can make and shape this bread.

You’ll start out by rolling the dough up into a log. Then you simply cut the log in half vertically to expose those pretty, herby, buttery layers. Now, twist the two the pieces of dough over each other to create a loose twist. And finally, coil the dough up into a shape that resembles an S. Again, the words make it seem trickier than it really is. Use the photos as your guide, I’m telling you, they will help so much!!

Once you have the bread shaped, let it rise, and then bake. Please, please, please, enjoy this warm, right out of the oven, and preferably with a light smear of butter too.

overhead photo of Swirled Garlic Herb Bread with multiple slices cut

SO GOOD. Oh, and the smell while this bakes? It. Is. Heavenly.

What every special dinner from now through December really needs…a side of pretty, swirled, garlic herb bread. I’d recommend serving this alongside one of my favorite September recipes, instant pot broccoli cheddar zucchini soup.

My suggestion? Bake this bread over the weekend for Sunday night dinner, then have fresh bread for snacking all week long. The leftovers are delicious lightly toasted, warmed in the oven, or even served room temp.

overhead photo of Swirled Garlic Herb Bread slices

If you make this swirled garlic herb bread be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Swirled Garlic Herb Bread.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
rising time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories Per Serving: 795 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk, yeast, honey, eggs, 3 1/2 cups flour, and salt. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 4-5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons room temp butter and mix until combined, about 2-3 minutes more. If the dough is still sticky, add the additional 1/2 cup flour, adding more as needed until the dough is smooth to touch.
    2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
    3. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, the garlic, parmesan, basil, sage, and thyme in a small bowl.
    4. Punch the dough down and roll out onto a lightly floured surface, creating a large rectangle about 12 x 18 inches. Spread the garlic herb butter evenly over the dough. Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough into a log, keeping it fairly tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. 
    5. Using a sharp knife, cut the log of dough in half lengthwise, leaving a small portion at one end intact (see above photo). Turn the halves to expose the filling. Cross the dough ropes over each other, repeating the twisting until you have a long, twisted dough.
    6. Coil half the rope up like a snake, stopping when you reach halfway. Then, coil the second half of the rope in the opposite direction (see above photo). Carefully transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
    7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer the bread to the oven and bake 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the bread is cooked through. Brush the top of the loaf with butter. Slice and serve warm...with additional butter.

Notes

To Make Ahead: prepare the bread through step 6. Once the bread is shaped, place it on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover, and place in the fridge for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, remove the bread from the fridge 1 hour prior to baking, then bake as directed. 
To Freeze: bake the bread as directed and allow to cool completely. Once cool, wrap the bread tightly with plastic wrap, then transfer to a freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter and warm or toast before serving.
Leftovers: the bread is best served warm after baking, but the leftover bread is delicious when lightly toasted or served at room temperature. 
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horizontal photo of Swirled Garlic Herb Bread

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Comments

  1. I made this and my bread is HUGE. Like. Twice the size of the pics. I’m sure it’ll still be good. But I don’t know what happened.

    1. Did you use the metric conversion? It’s way off. AP flour weighs 120-125 grams per cup, so this recipe calls for 420-500 grams of flour, not the 937.5 grams listed. If you used 937.5 grams of flour, your finished product would be approximately twice the size of the one pictured.

  2. Hi- this recipe sounds delicious!!
    question; can I use dry sage & thyme? If so should I be using less?
    I have fresh basil.
    Thanks!

    1. Hey Mac,
      Sure, that would work! For every 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs you will want to use 1 teaspoon of dried herbs. I hope you love this recipe! xx

      1. Hi/ so I substituted the fresh Sage & Thyme – and it worked out terrific! I loved it….definitely will be making it again 🙂 TY!!

    1. Hi Tavia,
      A non-dairy milk that you enjoy will work well for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  3. This may sound like a stupid question, but I’m using this recipe for my very first bread bake!! The instant yeast, do you just dump the package in with the rest of the first ingredients or are there directions on the yeast package you have to do first?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Heather,
      You can follow the recipe exactly as written using instant yeast:) Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

        1. Hey Lisa,
          Happy Sunday! I am delighted to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    This is really good! Mine got huge, so I cut the slices in half to serve them. I did use bread flour, though, so I’m sure that’s why. It has such a nice, subtle herb flavor. The garlic adds a nice touch. My family loved it! I wish I could post a picture.

    1. Hi Christina,
      Happy Friday!? Thanks a lot for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was a winner! xx

  5. 5 stars
    Made this today and it was an instant family favorite! Great recipe and outstanding pictures to help guide with shaping. Thank you!

    1. Hi Liz,
      Happy Wednesday! I really appreciate you taking the time to make this recipe, I love to hear that it was a hit! xxT

  6. 5 stars
    Made this today and just realized I left out the cheese but it was still delicious! Oh well. Guess I’ll have to make it again! 😉

    1. Hey Deborah,
      Wonderful!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe out, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan

    1. Hey Kalin,
      Happy Wednesday!! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it was tasty!?

  7. 5 stars
    Pretty easy to follow. It tastes really good. I wish I could post images of my results. my roll/twist isn’t perfect, but I’m still happy with the end result.

    Ah, I added an egg wash at the end with a sprinkle of kosher salt and the rest of the herbs I had laying around.

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment! So glad to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for giving it a go! ?xTieghan

    1. Hi Anna,
      Sure, that would be okay for you to do! I hope this recipe turns out amazing, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  8. 2 stars
    Th metric conversion for flour is WAYYY off. like more than double the amount. I doubled the rest of my ingredients in the dough and i’m hoping for the best as it rises, but i’m not optimistic 🙁

    1. Hi Patsy,
      So sorry about that!! Let me know how the recipe turns out, I will have to look at the conversions. xTieghan

    2. 1 star
      I wish I had read this one before I started! Have just realised the same, chucked the first lot away, started the second lot to find the milk is completely out too!!!!! what a waste?

    3. This. I’m returning to this recipe again after attempting it the first time a few months ago and it was awful. I double checked the conversions and the flour conversion is ridiculous. Not sure which online calculator you are using because flour should be around 437.5 grams, NOT 937.5 grams.

      1. Hi Jess,
        So sorry about this! The online calculator gave this measurement. I am working with our tech team to see if we can manually adjust the measurement, if not we will fully remove the metrics for this recipe. Have a great day!! xTieghan

  9. So delicious! It came out beautifully. I used almond milk and vegan butter. Everyone loved it and was so impressed! Thank you!

    1. Hey Kelsey,
      Perfect!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go, I am thrilled to hear that it was a winner! Have the best week!? xT

        1. Hi Ava,
          You bet, just proof it first with the milk and honey. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  10. 5 stars
    Love this bread but I have a hard time knowing when it’s done! The outside will be golden brown and the inside doughy. Any tips?

    1. Hey Danielle,
      Happy Sunday!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed! How long do you bake it for? xx

    2. Tieghan, bake bread until it’s 190° F internally. If it starts getting too brown, put foil loosely over top.

  11. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe a few time and really enjoyed it. I’m wondering how can I store this? I want to make it the night before. Is it best left uncovered overnight, paper bag, or plastic? Thank you.

    1. Hey Rubie,
      Awesome!! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed! I would keep in an airtight container. xx