I mean, you can make what you want for dinner, but what gets people excited is the garlic bread.
This is our house favorite garlic bread, the one I make almost weekly at this point – it’s generous with the butter and Parmesan, solidly garlicky, and flecked with herbs to really make it pop. It’s classic, it’s versatile, and it’s so ridiculously good.
Why I Love This Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is something that I’ve spent a stupid amount of time thinking about over the last 2-ish years.
We did a soup series a few years ago, and I was thisclose to posting a garlic bread recipe in the series, but I never quite locked it in. I just could never commit to a certain type of bread, or a particular texture, or just a general look and feel. Do we want it crusty? Chewy? Hearty? Or light and toasty?
A few years and many batches of garlic bread later, and I think I’ve landed. And we are garlic bread happy over here.
This is the house favorite garlic bread at the Ostrom household these days – beautifully springy French bread as the base, generously slathered with butter and Parmesan, appropriately garlicky but not overdone (and important balance, even for garlic bread), and flecked with bits of fresh herb to just elevate the eating experience.
The end result is golden brown, buttery and savory, with a satisfying bite and chew to it while at the same time staying toasty and light. It makes for elite dipping, sopping, and scooping, which is a top quality for me when it comes to garlic bread.
Another important quality: this is fast. In our house, garlic bread is usually a bonus meal item (served with spaghetti, soup, etc.) in which case I’m willing to give it 15 minutes of my life, but no more.
Current favorite way to eat this garlic bread: dunked in a rich tomato soup. I have an exceptionally easy, classically delicious one that I’m going to share soon. Stay tuned.
Ingredients For This Amaze Garlic Bread
There aren’t many! Yay!
French bread (more on that in a second)
Garlic (I use both fresh garlic and a pinch of garlic powder)
Which leads us to the most important decision one can make about garlic bread, I think.
What Type of Bread is Best for Garlic Bread?
This is something that I’ve spent a stupid amount of time thinking about, and all of it comes down to this:
What do you really want from your garlic bread?
We need to anchor its identity. Do you want it to sop up sauces? Do you want it to give you a hearty, crusty chunk that you can sink your teeth into? Do you just want it to be a vehicle for that Parmesan-laced garlic butter flavor? Is it standing on its own or coming alongside something else?
The two main breads that are easiest to think about for garlic bread, I think, are these two, which are labeled in the store as “French bread” and “baguette”.
I have made multiple rounds of this garlic bread on both types of bread, and they’re both delicious.
But ultimately I’ve found that I prefer French bread because it has a more even crumb with fewer holes, giving you a flatter surface area to spread the butter mixture and therefore a more even golden brown topping to your garlic bread.
French bread is on the lighter and fluffier side, which, to be honest, gave me pause. I generally like a really hearty bread that has some density, crunch, and chew to it. But after many many batches of this, I’ve actually really enjoyed the lightness of the French bread because it can kind of be both – it gets crunchy and chewy with the golden browning of the Parmesan on top, but it’s light enough to sop up whatever sauces and soups you’re eating it with.
I’ve also seen garlic bread made with challah, and sourdough, and ciabatta, and being that it’s garlic bread – I kind of don’t think you can go wrong. But if you’re asking me (and you are on my website!) in the year of our Lord 2023, I’m going with French bread.
How To Make This Garlic Bread
Step 1: Soften your butter.
I do this in the microwave, in short increments, and then whisk it to get it smooth-ish. Cutting it into uniform chunks (like the photo above) will help it soften at an even rate.
Step 2: Grate that garlic right in there.
My hot take: anything more than one clove is overpowering and generally unpleasant. Stop at one!
It doesn’t seem like it will be enough, but trust me. Even for me – a self-proclaimed garlic lover – one clove is plenty.
Step 3: Add Parmesan and parsley.
Finely grated Parmesan cheese is where it’s at! That savory flavor and golden browning – YUM.
I also like to add a little bit of garlic powder at this point just to slightly extend my garlick-ing of things (but with more subtlety than fresh garlic).
Step 4: Spread that amazingness on your bread.
I find this amount of butter mixture is good for half of a long loaf of French bread.
Really, really coat it. Layer it on. Be generous.
Step 5: Bake it!
If you don’t want any browning, first of all, why? It’s delightful. Second of all, you’ll just want go for more like 375 to 400 degrees.
If you like it a little golden brown, like I do, with a bit of texture on top, shoot for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.
Cut those halves into strips and get straight to the dunking!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Soften the butter in the microwave in short increments. I like to whisk it to get it smoothed out a bit.
Grate the garlic directly into the butter. Add the garlic powder, Parmesan, and parsley; stir to combine.
Cut the French bread in half and spread with the butter mixture (this amount of butter is good for half of one large French bread loaf – see photos above).
Bake for 10 minutes, adding 1-2 minutes for more browning.
Remove from the oven, cut into slices, and serve. Life is good.