If there's one thing I love more than anything else on this planet, it's garlic bread.
My inclination is to say that I'm exaggerating here, but truly, I'm not.
Garlic bread is one of those side dishes that even when it's not that good, it's still pretty good. You know? It's very difficult to mess up garlic and dough.
But even so, there is a *specific* way I like to enjoy my garlic bread and I have to say, it is superior. Everyone I've made this garlic bread for is just shocked by the amazing blast of garlic flavor and melted buttery goodness.
You know when you make up a recipe out of sheer necessity and it ends up being one of the best things you've ever tasted? That's how I feel about this garlic bread recipe. Because even though I can't remember its origins or what made me decide to stop buying the pre-made stuff and give making garlic bread from scratch a try, what I do know is that this is the best recipe I've ever invented.
It's simple, it's easy, and I promise once you make it, you'll never look back.
Some notes about the ingredients:
I use ciabatta bread for this recipe because it toasts beautifully in the oven but has that very soft inside. I get my ciabatta loaf from Whole Foods or Safeway. Make sure you get the loaf and not the ciabatta sandwich squares.
The butter you use in this really matters. I would suggest the brand Kerrygold Pure Irish butter. The stuff is so creamy and delicious.
Please, I beg of you, mince the garlic yourself. The stuff from the jar is convenient, yes, but lacks flavor significantly in comparison to freshly minced garlic.
The note about butter and garlic also applies for the parmesan cheese. Get a block of parmesan and grate it yourself if you opt to sprinkle it on top of your bread before putting it in the oven.
It's important that your butter is softened to room temperature and not melted. When the butter is softened it melts into the bread and combines with the bread better than when the butter is already melted.
Ciabatta Bread loaf
1/2 softened salted butter
8 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Slice your Ciabatta loaf horizontally all the way down so you have two long slices of bread open.
Mix your minced garlic with softened butter in a bowl.
Add salt, garlic powder, and chopped parsley (if desired).
Using a spoon or spatula, spread your garlic mixture on both sides of your bread, covering as much surface area as possible.
If using parmesan, sprinkle a generous amount on top of your buttered bread.
Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.