Chile Garlic Bread
2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
4 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
1 tablespoon vegan sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup olive oil + some extra
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 to 1 1/2 heads garlic, peeled and whole
8 to 10 medium serrano peppers, minced
cornmeal, as needed
kosher salt, as needed
1. Put the flours, wheat gluten, yeast, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Make a depression in the center and add olive oil and water. Stir it all together to make a nice dough, turn it out onto kneading surface, and start kneading. It will be tacky and sticky, but not so much you can't knead it. Knead until it has a nice feel and the gluten is well-developed, and it's stretchy.
2. Grease a mixing bowl with olive oil and place the ball of dough in there, rolling it around to grease all sides. Then cover with a warm, damp, lint-free towel and let the dough rise until it's at least doubled in size. When the dough has risen, gently turn it out onto the kneading surface, punch it down slightly, and let it rest for a bit. If you want, you could split it into two here, and make 2 small loaves instead of 1 big loaf.
3. Now incorporate the whole garlic cloves and peppers into the dough. Push the dough down with your hands to flatten it a bit, spread 1/4 of the garlic and peppers on top, pushing them in a little, then fold it over, turn 1/4 turn, and flatten it out again. Do that until everything's incorporated. Be gentle; you're not kneading it again.
4. Now form the dough into a boule, and put it on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Drizzle olive oil over the top and spread it around. Now shake some kosher salt over the top. Let the boule proof until it's doubled in size again. While that's going, fill a small pan with plenty of water and place it on the lower rack of oven, then preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
5. When the bread has risen, put it in the oven. If you have a water mister, spray it in every minute or so. After 5 minutes, remove the pan of water and turn the heat down to 375 degrees F. Bake for about 30 more minutes.For the last 5 minutes, remove the loaf from the cookie sheet, tap the bottom to check if it's hollow, and put it back in the oven, directly on the rack, just to brown the bottom. When it's done, remove it from the oven and let it cool on a rack for at least an hour.
Enjoy! If all went well, the garlic should be sweet, have begun to roast inside the bread, and filled it with a delicious aroma, while the chiles add an extra kick. The basic idea here is really simple, and could be done with your favorite bread recipe, sourdough, or whatever. In fact, you probably should! I live at high elevation, so the proportions and rising and cooking times here will all be slightly different. If you have a basic bread recipe that works for you, base it around that instead! (It's best, though, with lightly textured breads, not heavy multigrain.) '