Combining two of my all-time favourite dishes, pizza and garlic bread, this garlic pizza bread is the best of both worlds. It’s a lot like what you can get at various pizza chains but can be very easily made at home. Use homemade pizza dough (outlined in the recipe) or buy your favourite pre-made dough and top it off before baking.
Simply pizza dough topped with garlic butter before baking, it’s light, with a crisp outside and fluffy interior. You can make either thin crust for a crispier bread or roll the dough out thicker for a fluffier, soft bread. This version is made with a half-batch of my spelt pizza dough.
We like to serve this with spicy marinara sauce for dipping, or to scoop up dishes like shakshuka. Pizza bread makes an excellent side for salads, soups, and anywhere you might usually serve garlic bread.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Flour: I’m using spelt flour, but you can substitute white flour in the same quantity. The dough will have to be kneaded for about double the time if using white or strong bread flour. Use up to 50% whole-grain flour.
- Butter: I use a good vegan butter, but dairy butter works just as well. Make sure it’s quite soft.
- Garlic: pictured is fresh garlic, which is a bit milder, but works well if you need to thin out your plants. Garlic interacts with yeast so I don’t recommend adding it to the dough.
- Yeast: any type of yeast will work, from fresh to rapid or traditional.
- Add-ins: try adding dried herbs to the dough before shaping, or top with fresh herbs as soon as the bread comes out of the oven. I don’t recommend adding them to the topping as they have a tendency to burn while baking.
Step by Step
Step 1: mix the dough ingredients together either by hand or with some kind of mixer.
Step 2: tuck the edges of the dough under itself, with a damp hand, to form a ball.
Step 3: set aside to rise, covered, for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Step 4: turn the dough out onto a work surface and shape into a ball.
Step 5: roll the dough out into a round and place onto a baking sheet.
Step 6: mix the garlic topping ingredients together in a small bowl.
Step 7: spread the topping over the dough, leaving about 1.5 cm (3/4 in.) for the crust.
Step 8: bake until golden, 15-20 minutes depending on thickness.
Lots of bakeries sell pre-made pizza dough to buy, and it is rather better than grocery store versions – usually freshly made that day and with better ingredients. If you don’t have the time to make dough but still want it to be fresh, try that route. I buy the occasional grocery store pizza dough but it can taste kind of weird.
This can be made with only olive oil for topping, and no butter. I quite like making it that way but it’s not so much garlic pizza bread as it is a kind of cheat’s focaccia, so you can make that choice. I don’t often have vegan butter in the house and we do frequently make this with only oil.
I haven’t tried making this with a pizza stone. Getting a crisp base isn’t really a problem here as there aren’t a lot of toppings weighing it down or making the dough too wet.
How to Store
Storage: as with most yeast-based breads, this is best served the day it’s made. If possible, try to serve it just a few minutes after it’s baked, when the bread is still warm. Store in a sealed container for a day or two but note that it will start to get stale fairly quickly.
Freezing: transfer fully cooled slices into an airtight container and freeze for up to a month. The bread will be a little stale after freezing but can be refreshed by toasting lightly in the oven.
- Brush the crust with olive oil: this is optional but will make for a more flavourful crust. Up to you.
- Use a hand mixer: many do come with a dough attachment and it can be used for softer doughs like this one. I don’t have a standing mixer but hand mixers can make quick work of bread, especially ones with a lower kneading time, like spelt.
- Note the baking time: there is a fairly large variation in baking time provided in the recipe, and that’s based on how thick the dough is. For a thin-crust pizza, go for around 15 minutes. If the dough is quite thick, you’ll want to bake it a few minutes longer.
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Garlic Pizza Bread
- 120 ml water room temperature
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast or ¼ cube fresh
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 200 grams light spelt flour**
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 50 grams vegan butter or dairy butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic minced or finely grated
- ¼ teaspoon chili pepper flakes optional
- Pinch sea salt and black pepper
- Add the water to a large mixing bowl and whisk in the yeast to dissolve. If you're unsure about the freshness of your yeast, you can let this rest for ten minutes to make sure the yeast is active. Otherwise, continue immediately.120 ml water, 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- Mix the olive oil into the yeast mixture. Add the flour and salt, then mix to combine into a shaggy dough. Knead by hand for 6-8 minutes or about 4-5 minutes with an electric mixer, until the dough is soft, smooth, and fairly elastic.1 tablespoon olive oil, 200 grams light spelt flour**, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Wet your hands and tuck the edges of the dough under itself with your hand, using a scooping and turning motion, until a round ball of dough forms. Cover and set aside to rise for an hour in a warm, draft-free place, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Gently punch down the dough, then turn it out onto a work surface. Form a ball with the dough, then roll it out to your desired thickness (I recommend about 1cm in the middle), making sure the edges are a bit thicker for the crust.
- Set the dough aside while you make the topping. Add the butter, olive oil, garlic, pepper flakes (if using), salt and pepper to a small mixing bowl. Use a fork to mix until well combined.50 grams vegan butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 5 cloves garlic, Pinch sea salt and black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- Spread the garlic mixture onto the rolled out dough, making sure to leave the crust as-is. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Cool for about five minutes before cutting into slices and serve warm.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.