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Garlic Bread

July 26, 2012

It’s no secret that I love garlic.  I’ve talked about it on this blog many times.  And you’ve certainly seen enough pictures of me chopping clove after clove of garlic.  What’s not to like about this fragrant, pungent aromatic?  I try to find ways to incorporate garlic into everything I cook.  My philisophy is the more the better!  One thing I really enjoy eating is garlic bread.  Before I met my husband, I always purchase pre-made garlic bread; either the kind you find fresh at the grocery store and pop in the oven or frozen garlic bread that you can store and use as you like.  I’d never even contemplated making my own garlic bread.  For my husband, he couldn’t even think about buying pre-made garlic bread; he’d always made his own.  He reprimanded when I tried to purchase the pre-made stuff; I heard all of the arguments, “do you know how bad that is for you?” “do you know how much better homemade garlic bread can be?”  So, I said to him, ok, let’s make our own.  I’d just never done it because I didn’t know how to.  Ever since then, we’ve always made our own garlic bread to go with whatever we were having for dinner.  And you know what?  My husband was right.  Homemade garlic bread is sooooooo much better than the storebought kind!

And the great thing is that making homemade garlic bread is quick and easy as well and requires just a few ingredients.  You definitely need the bread.  A good loaf of bread, preferrably some sort of French bread or loaf that has a nice crusty outside and a soft, airy inside would be ideal.

Start by slicing the bread loaf.  We like thick sliced garlic bread that has some body to it.  I sometimes use my garlic bread as a serving vehicle where I will put spaghetti or dipping sauc on it, so I want something thick that will hold the sauce and won’t fall apart.  Slice as many pieces as necessary for the as much as you’ll be eating.  Remember, with thick sliced garlic bread, a little goes a long way.  You probably don’t need more than a few pieces per person.

Next, you can’t have garlic bread without the garlic!  Like I said, my husband and I love garlic, so the more the better.  We use a combination of granulated garlic and fresh garlic for our garlic bread.  I think that fresh garlic cloves give a flavor and aroma that you just can’t achieve with granulated garlic.  But granulated garlic gives you a great concentrated garlic flavor, so using a combination of both of them works well for us.  Mince the garlic cloves finely to release the juices and get the garlic down to as small of a size as possible so you’re not overwhelmed with garlic when you bite into the garlic bread.

In a heat safe bowl, combine together a stick of unsalted butter, some granulated garlic and some dried parsley for color and flavor.  Here’s where you can get creative and add other herbs or flavoring agents that you like.  If you want something a little spicy, add a dash or two of tabasco or some cayenne pepper.  But be careful not to completely overwhelm the butter.

It’s quick and easy to pop the bowl into the microwave and melt the butter completely and incorporate the herbs and flavoring agents you added.  You can also melt the butter in a saucepan on the stovetop, but it doesn’t really make a difference in the final product, so quick and easy is best.  When the butter has melted, add your finely minced fresh garlic into this mixture.  Your garlic-butter creation is ready to go.

Here comes the fun, and somewhat messy, part.  You’ve got to get the garlic-butter onto the bread.  The easiest way is to dip the sliced bread directly into the bowl with the garlic-butter.  Basically take your fingers and pick up the bread and dunk both sides of the bread into the garlic-butter so that it soaks into the bread.  Similar to what you would do when making French toast.  It’s messy, but the results make it worth it.  You could take a knife and try and smear the garlic-butter mixture onto the bread, but you just don’t get as much of the garlic-butter flavor into the bread that way.

As you dunk the bread in the garlic-butter, just start stacking up the slices until you’ve dunked all of them and are ready to grill them.  You can see that all that wonderful garlic-butter was soaked up by the bread since you can see the bits of parsley cling to the bread.  By giving the bread time to rest why you dunk the rest of the slices, instead of dunking and grilling right away, you allow the flavors to permeate the bread.

Heat up the grill to a high temperature.  These won’t take long at all to grill up, and you want the heat high so that you get some nice grill marks in your garlic bread.  Since the bread was already baked, and there’s nothing raw in the dish, you only need to grill the bread for a few minutes, at most, on each side.

Get beautiful grill marks on the garlic bread by putting the slices down on the grill, then turning them 90 degrees after a minute or two of grilling.  Then flip it over to the other side and do the same.  Again, be careful not to grill it for too long as you don’t want the garlic bread to become tough and burned.

It’s best to serve the garlic bread right away.  Hot-off-the-grill garlic bread, you can’t beat it.  All those wonderful flavors combined into this delicious, slightly chewy and crusty bread is the perfect compliment to any meal!

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 26, 2012 11:53 am

    Garlic bread is alway a hit whenever it is on our table. Guests eat it like there is no tomorrow. Yours looks terrific.

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