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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

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. BEST bread recipe! I split the dough in half and make 2 loaves. I also make extra butter/herb to spread, egg wash before baking and then brush melted butter on top after taking it out of the oven. DELICIOUS!

    1. Hey Fae,
      Fantastic!! I love to hear that the recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try. Have the best week:)) xT

  2. Yes, the metric conversion is way off…I had nothing but chunks of dough and flour. Took me awhile to figure this out and two attempts. Second turned out great…crazy it is off.

  3. I normally weigh floor for more accuracy, but there is a Metric – volume conversion issue. Metric calls for 937 grams but 3.5 cups is 437. Extra fl0ur would account for both density and blandness.

      1. I ran into the same problem. I bulked up the bread instead by doubling the other ingredients. You get a much bigger loaf but it’s fabulous for company or many meals.

  4. 2 stars
    Made this recipe but found the bread a bit disappointing, it was lacking in flavour and edges came out a bit hard. The recipe makes a lot of bread. The garlic herb swirl is clever though, I will try that in another bread recipe in future.

    1. Hi Patricia,
      Yes, both of those will work well for you. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

      1. Hi! Thank you , so the gluten free flour I used was King Arthur 1:1. I also have to use dairy free so I used earth balance butter and almond milk unsweetened. The seasonings are delicious however the bread was very dense and the flavor was absorbed by the gf blend, I even doubled the herbs and pecorino romano. I am not sure what to do differently? Thank you for any assistance

        1. Hi Patricia,
          Unfortunately, with a lot of those substitutes, these could have been the issues. Ideally, GF flour and DF milk should work just fine, but then when you add in the earth balance and extra pecorino romano, it really just might have been enough to throw everything off. So sorry about this! xTieghan

          1. Okay, thank you so much any suggestions to adapt bc I would love to have success with this recipe , the herb mixture was so good and the smell while it baked was divine. Thank you

          2. I would do the dairy free milk and the gluten free flour, but I would use regular butter and the correct amount of pecorino Romano.

  5. 5 stars
    Made this for Christmas Eve dinner and it was a hit! I only had dried herbs, too. Can’t wait to make it again with fresh. My father in law said… “It’s a work of art!”

    1. Hi there,
      Thank you so much for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Merry Christmas!🎄🎁 xT

        1. Hey Becca,
          Fantastic!! I am so glad that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try. Have the best week! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    I just made this and followed the directions perfectly. However, this is my first time making bread and it came out slightly hard, not soft. Where did I go wrong?

    1. Hey Adam,
      Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try! Hmm what kind of yeast did you use? Was it possibly over baked? Happy Holidays! xTieghan

      1. Tieghan, Happy Holidays to you as well. I used Fleischmann’s rapid rise instant yeast. I did bake for 30 minutes on 350 but the top didn’t turn golden brown, it stayed more on the lighter side but was cooked through.

  7. Hello! I’m going to make this recipe but when I changed the measurements from US to metric, the flour measurement rocketed up to 937.5g! Surely 4 cups of flour is only 500g?

    1. Hey there,
      So sorry about this, the calculations must be off, I would only use 500g of flour. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

    1. Hi Gina,
      Yes, that would be just fine to do. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    2. Hello again! I’ve made it several times, it’s fantastic! Used the swirling method with different breads/fillings, always a great bread. Awesome talking point on the table too!
      Just about to make it AGAIN!

      1. Hey there,
        Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it! Have the best weekend:) xxT

  8. Made this, used basil pesto, more garlic & parmesan cheese, didn’t use the other spices & formed into a circular braid. Turned out so pretty! Baked for 25 minutes. Wish I could add a picture!

    1. Hey Patty,
      Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Have the best day! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    Malo me zbunjuju mjere. Recimo 3/4 šalice mlijeka. Koliko je to dcl, da li je šalica od 2 dcl pa onda izmjerim 3/4? Ili 1/4 ribanog parmezana, koliko je to u gramima? Može li mi netko pomoći jer me zaista privlači ovaj kruh i htjela bi ga ispeći ali se bojim da ću u startu fulati sa mjerama.

  10. Hello! I made this recipe twice in one week because it was so delicious. I want to try the same basic bread and steps to make a sweet, cream cheese filled bread. Any advice?

    1. Hey Rachel,
      Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for making it! I’ve never added cream cheese to the filling, but I would dollop it into the middle. I hope it’s delish. Have the best weekend🍁 xTieghan

      1. Hey Cassie,
        Happy Friday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thank you so much for making it! xTieghan

    1. Hey Laurie,
      No adjustments are needed, you can follow the recipe as is. Please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    It tasted amazing! I should have made more filling because it doesn’t look as herby as the one shown. I will definitely make it again!

    1. Hey Rubie,
      Happy Wednesday! Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Have the best day:) xTieghan

        1. Well to be specific I wanted to do a pumpkin shaped round loaf because I liked the texture of this bread more than the artisan style.

        2. Hey Rubie,
          This bread won’t quite fit in a loaf pan, I would recommend following the recipe as is. Please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan