- Prep time 2 hours
- Cook time 40 minutes
- serves 4
If there ever was a pinnacle of garlic bread, Korean cream cheese garlic bread has to be it. I first saw this made by Korean YouTubers Nino’s Home and Mommy Oven, alongside vlogs of bakeries in Seoul churning this out by the hundreds each day.
For someone who has a childhood attachment to garlic bread—my Asian mom used to buy legs of baguette, apply swathes of garlic butter on each slice, and toast it in our tiny Panasonic toaster for breakfast—it at once triggered both adult appetite and adolescent adoration.
Because instead of a baguette or regular toast, this Korean version uses a milk bread bun that’s been segmented like a six-sided paper fortune teller, with ripples of savory-sweet cream cheese piped into each crusty cranny, before the whole thing is dunked into a glimmering pool of parsley garlic butter, soaking up all that allium-y aroma as it bakes. The result? Garlic bread, but richer, garlickier, butterier, and gloriously more luxurious than any you’ve had. —Jun
- Bread (can be made the day before)
(120ml) whole milk, heated to 105°F
(24g) granulated sugar
(6g) active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups
(240g) bread flour
(1g) kosher salt
(15g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
(225g) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
(36g) granulated sugar, divided
(1g) kosher salt
(113g) unsalted butter, melted
(30ml) heavy cream
garlic cloves (approx. 50g), finely minced or grated
(8g) parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
- In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, sugar, and yeast and let it sit for 10 minutes to activate the yeast until bubbly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine bread flour, salt, egg, and yeast mixture. Using the dough hook attachment, knead on medium-low speed for 5 minutes. Add the butter and knead on medium speed for 10-12 minutes, until a smooth, elastic dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball, place it into a large, oiled bowl at least twice the size of the dough, cover with a cloth or kitchen towel, and let it proof for 50-60 minutes, until it has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has proofed, punch it down and divide it into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball, and place it onto a lined baking tray, leaving at least a 4 inch gap in between each dough ball. When all the dough is rolled out, cover each ball with a cloth or kitchen towel, and let proof again for 30 minutes, until it has again doubled in size.
- Heat an oven to 350°F (177°C).
- When the dough balls have proofed, bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the tops of the buns are golden. Transfer the buns onto a wire rack and let them cool for 30 minutes.
- For the cream cheese filling: Combine cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Stir together with a spatula until evenly mixed, then transfer into a piping bag.
- In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, heavy cream, egg, minced garlic, and chopped parsley. Stir until evenly mixed. (The mixture should still be liquid at this point. If it’s starting to solidify, pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds to loosen it up.)
- When the buns have cooled down, use a serrated knife to slice the buns vertically into 6 even sections, stopping 1/2-inch from the bottom of the bun with each slice so each bun remains in one piece.
- Heat an oven to 320°F (160°C).
- Pipe the cream cheese into the cuts in the bread, and a big dollop in the center as well. Flip and dip each bun into the garlic butter sauce so the buns are completely covered. You can also spoon some of the sauce on top of the bun to get it into the crevices. When sufficiently sauced, place each bun onto the lined baking tray. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake the buns for 10 minutes in the oven, until the buns are gleaming and bubbling with sauce. Cool for 5 minutes. The buns are best served warm, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. (If freezing, just defrost it overnight in the refrigerator and bake it in a 320°F (160°C) oven for 15 minutes before consuming.)