Garlic Butter Glazed Talami Bread
Eureka! Truly an exceptionally simple method for Lebanese talami bread that yields a light, airy, perfect loaf. I’ve published other recipes for talami, but this one is IT.
I really don’t get super gadget-happy in my kitchen. Gotta have sharp knives. Lots of dish towels. A lemon reamer, GOT TO. Anyone who’s ever made Lebanese dishes knows why. Lemon, lemon, lemon.
Of course, the best tools are the ones we were born with: the hands, and every one of the senses. Properly employed, these are our pals, our workhorses.
But when I make Lebanese talami bread, our tall, airy, soft, chewy bread that’s so good its face could launch a thousand ships, I take a stand mixer-only position. There are good reasons for this, including the fact that I adore a stand mixer—I want to get more of them just to enjoy the rainbow of glossy colors they come in.
If I could get Dan to look the other way for a minute, he’d find a big old Hobart on premises, without a doubt.
You can use your hands for the talami, yes Sitto you can, but this dough is so wet that hand-kneading can evoke stress, expletives, and bad baking juju so powerful they can be tasted in the bread.
I don’t want that for you. I don’t want that for me. And I certainly don’t want that for our talami.
I consider it a huge success that Geralyn went directly home from our recent talami-bake and ordered her first stand mixer. She was wooed by the ease with which the dough came together and smoothed out, and wooed by my new method for the talami: no more round loaves that are such a challenge, given the wetness of the dough. No more!
One fine day this past winter I put into play a recurring dream I’d been having, which was to find a way to barely touch the talami dough at all during its two rises. Preserve the air pockets, preserve your sanity.
Using the same recipe for the talami from in my cookbook, but adding a touch more sugar (please trust), I wanted the dough to rise twice in the bowl, then pour the dough into a hot small-ish pan (specifically, a quarter sheet pan with sides, 9×13, heavy duty. I’m not one for gadgets, but you’ve got to have it!). Air bubbles, undisturbed, hold their own this way because they get to stay put to rise the second time, rather than “shaped” into rounds. The dough is eternally grateful we’ve left it alone to do what it does best: rise tall full of a big wide open crumb, golden, soft, and aromatic.
Oh, and a word about the nonstick foil. There’s nothing sexy about a food blogger recommending aluminum foil, even on a nonstick pan. But truth: this is what I use for the talami. Use nothing, and bread removal from the pan gets ugly.
I believe Geralyn’s new mixer is candy apple red. This from a girl who looked at me as though I’d completely lost it when I said she needed to get the mixer if only for making this bread from an ultra-wet dough. You’ve got the same face right now?
All I can say is: No really! It’s a game-changer! Use your God-given senses of sight, taste, smell and mixer on the talami made with this method—not to mention a garlic butter glaze that puts the whole experience OVER THE TOP—and mark my words, another stand mixer believer will be born. A believer named You.
What color you gonna get?
Oh, and while you’re at it, pick up a flexible bench scraper. I’m not one for gadgets, but I do love my rubbery pastry brush too. The mortar and pestle for mincing the garlic, too.
No really! You’ve gotta have it!
Garlic Butter Glazed Talami Bread
For the bread:
- 1 packet or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 cups warm water (105-110°F), divided
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or safflower
For the glaze:
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, very soft
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- Big pinch kosher salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, a tablespoon of the sugar, and ¼ cup of the water. Set it aside until it is creamy and starting to bubble a bit, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt.
- Add 1 cup of the water, 2 cups of the flour, and the rest of the sugaar to the yeast mixture and stir by hand with the paddle attachment to combine.
- Attach the paddle and on low speed, add the remaining 2 cups flour and 1 cup water. Once the mixture is combined, increase the speed and beat on medium-high until the dough is smooth and batter-like and climbing all the way up the paddle, about 5 minutes. Stay nearby so the mixer doesn't bounce off the counter!
- Coat a medium sized bowl with a teaspoon of canola oil, and also coat a rubber spatula or rubber bench scraper. Use the coated scraper to scrape the dough from the paddle and the bowl and transfer the dough to the coated bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (not against the dough), and cover that with a clean kitchen towel. Set it aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 90 minutes to 2 hours.
- Gently deflate the risen dough by gently scraping it down the sides of the bowl with the oiled spatula or bench scraper, folding it over on itself a few times. Cover the bowl again with the plastic and towel and set it aside in a warm place to rise again for one hour (I've increased this second rise from original) while the oven and pan heat up.
- Meanwhile, line a 9 x 13 x 2-inch quarter sheet pan with nonstick foil (this nonstick foil is key), or use an unlined 12-inch cast iron skillet (or enameled cast iron skillet or braiser). Place in the oven on the middle shelf and heat to 500°F for 30 minutes.
- When the dough is risen, remove the pan from the oven and coat it with the remaining neutral oil. Use the oiled scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough from the bowl as you pour it into the hot pan. Start at one short end of the sheet pan and fill it with the dough as you move the bowl along with the dough to the other end of the pan. Use your oiled fingers or the bench scraper to very gently push the dough into the corners of the pan. It won’t be perfect, and that’s fine. Less touching is better. Brush some of the oil taken from the perimeter of the pan over the top of the dough.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F., or 375°F convection. Bake the bread until it is deep golden brown, about 25 minutes or so.
- While the bread bakes, make the garlic butter glaze by stirring the garlic into the softened butter with a big pinch of kosher salt.
- When the bread is done, set the hot pan on a rack. Glaze the top by generously coating it with the garlic butter using a small knife or spatula. When it’s cool enough to handle, remove the bread from the pan and cool on a rack until it is nearly room-temperature before slicing into pieces to serve.
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I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!
I´m sure this bread will impress my guests!
Maureen neglected to mention that when I gave her “the look” like I thought she lost it that I had to buy a mixer, she gave me “the look” that said “don’t argue with me and buy the mixer–it’s for your own good!” Couldn’t be happier with my purchase and my talami!
I love the language of the Lebanese looks!!
Shedding tears of joy.
I cry with you!!
I’ve always used the bread hook when making bread in my upright mixer not the paddle.
Ah yes, the hook is great for most doughs. I use the paddle for this one because it is so batter-like.
Maureen, my daughter has to make homemade bread this weekend for a biology project and this looks like the perfect recipe for her to make. Thanks you! Just in time:)
Biology will soon be her favorite class with this bread!! Thanks Jill!
I came home, saw this post and made the bread. I trusted the sugar amount. It is so good. I made some hummus too (peeling each chickpea)… Thank you. You made an awful day much better. Thank you.
Sorry I missed this earlier Michele. Beautiful. Thanks so much!
Sounds delicious.If I have time tomorrow I think I’ll try it!
Habibti, you’ve done it again. Sunday’s bread in the oven. My hummus is ready! Love you!
Looks delicious! I’m trying to figure out my new convection oven. You state: “Reduce the oven temperature to 425 F, or 450 convection”. I thought convection cooking is hotter, so you would use lower temps than with non-convection. Wouldn’t 450+convection be more like 475 standard/non-convection? New oven…but my old KitchenAid stand mixer is tried and true! I have all the other gadgets (and many, many more), except the 1/4 sheet pan. My family has always called the heavy-duty 1/2 sheet pan the “Pakhlava pan”.
I know that your Dan adds olives to the top of his Talami. Do you think this dough would hold up to mixing in some coarsely-chopped Kalamata olives?
Assuming there may be leftovers, can Talami be frozen successfully?
Hi there–You’re spot on about the convection. It is about 25 degrees hotter than standard, so for 425, we’d bake at 400. My oven’s convect setting, however, adjusts for this so if I set it to 425 convection, it runs to 400 to make up for the difference. I’d be really curious to see how the olives would work in this talami–I’m sure it would be delicious but I’m not sure we’d get the same air pockets. Well worth a try. To freeze the bread, wrap it well as you would any bread and it should freeze fine. It may lose some of its moist, tender qualities but rewarm, wrapped in foil, in the oven to revive it!
The time finally arrived when it was my turn to borrow your cookbook from the Ann Arbor District Library. It’s always like Christmas when books that I’ve ordered are ready for pickup, and Christmas was especially good this time. Your book is amazing. I can’t wait to begin trying the recipes.
If I had my way, I would own just about every cookbook that I can find. However, there are only so many bookshelves that a home can hold. Consequently, I borrow any cookbook that looks enticing from the library for a preview before committing to purchasing it and finding it a space on a shelf for it to use as a home. Your book is now at the top of my list for purchasing, even above all the bread baking books that have been on my wish list for months and years.
I hope that you will be returning to Zingerman’s for more demos in the future. I regret having to miss your first demo, but the timing is bad for me due to previous commitments. You will have a great time, though. Zingerman’s is the best!
Have a great day.
I christened my new stand mixer with this recipe. The bread is fabulous! We had it with our grilled lamb dinner tonight. I used the dough hook, not realizing the difference. It worked fine, plenty of gluten. Now that I know, I probably had to scrape it down more than with the paddle, but the results are what counts. It was great and I learned a lot about using my new stand mixer. My color is Silver Pearl. I will be making this again and again!
Correction: Sugar Pearl.
I made this bread this evening. The only problem is I can’t eat enough of it, it’s that good! I planning a gathering with hummus and all of trappings. I am definitely adding this bread to the menu!
So glad to hear it Peggy, thank you!
Maureen…you are so right! This bread is so beautiful, it’s face can launch a thousand ships! I can eat the screen right now!!! Hope you’re well.
I bought a kitchen aid mixer just for this recipe! It took a while to save the money, but it has finally arrived! My color, Granny Smith Apple Green. I can’t wait to make this bread, with your recipe for hummus and my spiced homemade tomato sauce, I’m sure it will be a hit! Thank you habibti!
Love the green! Hope you are enjoying the bread as much as we do, habibti!
1) I just love your blog. I have a hard time finding good Lebanese recipes written in English. This is perfection.
2) My KitchenAid is dark red and I can’t live with out. I made spinach pies with your recipe and they were amazing. I can’t wait to make this Talami bread!!
Thank you so so much Fatima! I love to hear every word of this! Enjoy the talami…it is heavenly…
Well, I dunno. I watched talami made by hand by an elderly Lebanese lady – my ‘honorary sittu’ – many years ago and so when I started to bake it, that is what I did. Tricky at first, with practice – no bad thing – it becomes quite straightforward. And no need to spend £500 (I’m in the UK) on a counter-space-gobbling gadget. Just saying….!
Absolutely, the breads were always made by hand by Sittos like yours and mine…but to get this particular version of talami so light and airy and perfect, the mixer is key. Let us know if you try this one by hand and how it goes for you Mark! Thank you!
Hi Maureen! I’m 69 years old and consider myself an adequate Lebanese cook. I love your recipes, the way they’re presented and… I learn something new each time.! Great photography too! Many thanks
Thank you so very much Carol for your kindness!
December 20, 2017 at 4:08 PM
I want to make this delicious bread for Christmas dinner.
Is there anyway to make ahead of time, like a day before?
And yes, there is nothing like hot out of the over, however my oven will be used for our traditional kibbee and I think a brisket or beef wellington this year, yum.
Would love to know your thoughts,
Cousin Cyrina Anthony
We are cousins somewhere, right:):):)xo
Hi cousin! You can make it ahead by one day, wrapped very well in plastic wrap and foil. Then reheat it in foil only at 300 degrees if you like, or serve room temperature. You could make it a couple of days ahead and freeze it, then thaw overnight and reheat in the oven. Your feast sounds amazing!
I’ve made this at least 5 times now, and it is always a HIT. It goes with everything and is soooo tasty. The only thing that doesn’t like this recipe is my waistline. Thank you!
SUCH a great addition to the repertoire, isn’t it? I gladly give up other carbs so this bread can rule the table!!
Talami is my favorite! I think I’ll give it a test run and take for Thanksgiving! Thanks for the recipe!
i am curious…is this the same bread used to give out after a funeral mass to the attendees. i remember that happening in my byzantine melkite church and yes, one of the sithu-s would bake it. it was delicious! no garlic at that time, of course, just plain.
Kathleen, I know what you are referring to as this is the bread that we used to have at my Sitto’s church, which was Greek Orthodox–thank you for the memory. I think this bread is pretty similar, maybe a little softer than what we had at church. So delicious!
I made this today, and it is absolutely delicious! Light, airy–great texture! My question is, would it be okay to let it rise overnight? It’s pretty cold here right now, and even with active, in-date yeast, and it took a really long time to double in size–about 6 hours.
Wow, six hour rise! It sounds like you could easily do an overnight rise there and the dough would be just fine.
Maureen everything I’ve tried from you has been so amazingly outstanding – so happy to have trust to try everything you so graciously share!!! Thank you soooo much
Well how wonderful of you, thank you. so much!
Greetings from Vermont!
I’ve been on the sourdough train for the past year which has been ab amazing journey, but this bread looks amazing. I have one question. You mention it can be done in a 12” cast iron pan. Does the pan require any oiling to prevent any sticking? Can’t wait to try this. And, thanks!!
Greetings Cathy! You’ll add neutral oil to the pan after heating it, before adding the dough. So delicious, enjoy!
Hope all is well. During the pandemic I’ve gotten into bread making. I would love to make this but 2 questions 1. Could you please give the recipe in grams, as I weigh my ingredients . 2. I use instant SAF yeast so I’m a little confused by your steps at the beginning of the recipe. Thanks so much
I have always loved talami, but never thought to attempt to make it , as this was always reserved for the “church ladies” .
I love my stand mixer (red) and am going to give this a try! Can’t wait! My sons will love it! Thank you!
Barbie this talami is a MUST MAKE! I’m so happy your red mixer and this glorious dough are soon to meet!
Hello , I’ve made this bread many time and everyone simply adores it . I was wondering if I could make the dough the day before and leave it in the fridge after the rise so I can bake it a day later ?
Rosanna, I have not tested a cold rise with this recipe but it should work. Just keep an eye on the dough to prevent it from overproofing, and give it plenty of time to warm up to room temperature or warmer for the second rise, which is very important for this talami. Love to hear how it goes! I’ll try it too.
I finally broke down and bought myself a braiser (not the La Cruset that I wanted) but I bought it specifically for this bread! I can’t wait to try it (the braiser arrived today). I made all the bread in my home as my sons were growing up in Lebanon because I wanted them to have egg on toast and BLT’s and when I moved there, there was no sliced bread at all, only baguettes and Arabic bread. I’m no stranger to making bread but I’ve never seen this bread in Lebanon myself. It looks divine and I’m thinking would be great with soup. Thank you so much for sharing so freely your knowledge and recipes.
Wonderful Libby! Let me know what you think of this with all of your bread-baking experience!
Can I reduce the sugar (am on a low sugar diet) or use honey or maple syrup?
Also, can I use white whole wheat flour or other whole grain flours?
The Other Maureen
Hi the Other Maureen! You sure can reduce the sugar and you can even leave it out–you may not get exactly the results in terms of golden color and texture but still great bread. Or reduce by half and honey would be my sub of choice here. I haven’t tested whole wheat flour but the rule with that is to use 50 percent whole-wheat, and 50 percent of another flour– the all-purpose, pastry flour or spelt, to avoid a dense result. Great questions, thank you!