Place the yeast and the sugar in a small bowl and pour 1/4 cup (out of the 1-1/4 cups) of lukewarm over it. Cover with a cling film and place in a warm place for 10-12 mins or till the yeast has bloomed and the mixture looks frothy. If the mixture hasn't frothed up, the yeast is no good. Discard it and try again with a new package.
Mix the flour, salt and dried herbs in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the bloomed yeast mixture to it and give it a quick mix. Then add the 1 cup of lukewarm water in parts until you get a sticky dough.
Turn out the dough onto a clean, floured surface and knead for a good 8-10 minutes till the dough no longer sticks to your hands but becomes soft and pliable. This step is essential for a fluffy bread as the kneading helps the gluten to develop.
Generously grease a bowl with oil and place the dough ball in it, turning it all over so that it is coated evenly with the oil. Cover with a cling film and keep in a warm place till the dough has doubled in volume, about 1-1/2 - 2 hours.
Prepare the filling by mixing all the ingredients mentioned under 'For the filling'.
When the dough has doubled in volume, turn it out onto a floured surface and punch out the air using your fingertips, then knead it once very lightly. Then shape the dough into a rough rectangle
Using a rolling pin roll out the dough into a large rectangle of 16x12 inches. Leaving a gap of 1/2 inch on all sides, spread the filling all over the surface. Sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander (or any other herb of your choice)
Now start rolling the dough (like a carpet) starting from the longest side and place the dough seam side down .
Grease a large baking tray with butter and gently lift the rolled dough and place it on the tray. Join the ends to form a circle. Gently seal the ends.
Using a sharp knife make a series of deep cuts on the outside of the ring about 1 inch apart. Lift each slice and twist it lightly and place it so that the spiral side is facing upwards. Continue twisting all slices in such a way that two consecutive slices are facing each other forming a 'heart'.
Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for another 45mins - 1 hour or till the dough has doubled.
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Brush the surface of the dough with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 190 degrees C and bake for a further 18-20 minutes or till golden brown. Do not overbake as the surface of the bread will begin to harden. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on top.
Remove from the oven and brush with more garlic butter or olive oil or milk. Let it cool completely before pull out the slices to serve. Enjoy the garlic garland bread plain or with a cheese dip.Do check what the other bread bakers have baked today!