- 1 16-ounce loaf of Italian bread, French bread or a wide baguette ( or you could just use regular white bread incase you have none of the above…don’t make it a habit though!)
- 6 large garlic cloves, chopped really fine (it actually depends on the size of the bread…lets just say roughly for 1 stick of butter, you may use about 6 cloves of garlic)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature ( none of that margarine stuff..forget your diet for this!)
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley (Fresh only, please!)
- 1 tablespoon chopped oregano leaves (I used dried oregano, because I didn’t have fresh on hand)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( normal olive oil will also do…this is just to get it all mixed well)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional… I didn’t use it this time)
I’m going to tell you 2 ways to make Garlic Bread. One method is the single-bake method, which is what you do when you have not much of time in hand. It’s delicious this way, but not as crispy like the ones you get from the store. The second way is the double bake method. Where you first bake it and then broil it. The broiling ensures the crispness.
First…Get a medium size bowl and drop a stick of butter in it. Let it sit there for a couple of hours, you want it to get nice and soft.
Later on when the butter’s ready: Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Place the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until minced. Add the parsley and oregano (if you are using fresh put it in here…else just add it to the butter directly) and pulse twice. Add this garlic paste to the bowl of butter.
Add a pinch of salt, black pepper, and olive oil too. Mix well.
Now if you are using the Italian or French loaf…. slice that loaf of bread right up the middle (vertically) so you have two long halves. Now set them on their backs, cut side up. .
Take a basting /pastry brush and start slathering a good portion of the garlic butter all across that bread.(If you are in a hurry and choosing the fast route, then paste all of your spread on the bread and on the crusts as well. Just put it all on! Give it a nice bath in the spread. BUT if you are going for the second double-bake method, then please do remember to keep a little for later…. you’ll need it for sure!).
Single Bake – Put it in the oven for 20 minutes at 350°F (175°C). , and then take them out. Let it rest for about 3 minutes and it’ll taste still delicious, but not so crusty. ( Incase you want to put cheese, then put it in the oven for about 15 minutes only, take the bread out, sprinkle the cheese on top and then put it back in for another 10 minutes. Or till the cheese melts and the breads a little crispy again).
(P.s…..Here’s a picture of the garlic bread, I 1st made, ever, and that too with Parmesan cheese.)
Double-Bake – Now, if you have time on hand and want to eat a perfect garlic bread, then you need to do a “double-bake”. That is, bake the bread for 10-15 minutes at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes.
Let it cool for a few minutes, then use a serrated knife and slice it.
Now with the garlic butter paste that you had kept aside earlier (remember?? oh no..don’t temme you forgot…well then, quickly mince a clove of garlic, add it to a little butter melted in a pan/microwave! Phew!) and spread a little on both sides of each slice.
Meanwhile switch your oven into the “broil” mode. Once the oven’s hot, Put your garlic bread back into the oven for about 2-5 minutes. You need to be really careful and be on the look out. Because even a minute more could make a perfectly crunchy garlic bread become a burnt garlic bread! So look out for a light browning of the bread.
Take it out and you’re done!
Since I used regular white bread and a toddler who can’t eat crispy bread (rather doesn’t know how to eat without hurting his gums and littering the whole house), I just put it in the oven for a straight 25 minutes. If you ask me, it wasn’t too crispy or crunch, but at the same time..it wasn’t soft either. Just a little less than perfect. That’s about it! Well, that’s the compromise I need to do…just so that my son can enjoy a good garlic bread too!
And that’s my impatient toddler, unable to keep his hands off!