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How Do You Make Garlic Bread?

I really LOVE garlic, but every time I make garlic bread, the garlic is too harsh. I'm thinking that maybe I ought to cook the garlic a little, maybe in a pan, with olive oil, or butter, or maybe even roast it. I don't want a cheese garlic bread (this time around), just the best darned garlic bread I've ever tasted. Can you help me? Thanks! (Dinner is in about 2 hours.)

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  1. One way I do it is to put butter, minced fresh garlic, a little olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, parsley and a pinch of salt in a microwavable cup. I nuke it for about a minute till it melts, then pour it over the slit down the middle loaf of bread, wrapped in foil but with the top exposed. Baked at 400 for about 20 minutes. I love cheese, so I usually add some freshly grated parm on top. Yum.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bayoucook

      It's not clear to me what you mean by "wrapped in foil but with the top exposed." Say a little more about that, please. Also, do you open it up at some point to toast the bread and melt the cheese?

      1. re: bayoucook

        Preferably you'd use slow-roasted garlic and squeeze the "paste" from the cloves into olive oil or melted butter, then spread on the bread. But for a quicker version, Bayoucook has it nailed. I'd be halving a loaf of bread as if making a giant sandwich, spread both cut surfaces, and bake them side-by-side on a sheet pan, with or without grated cheese atop the garlic spread.

        Costco used to have it (untoasted) in their instore bakery. It was too salty and I think may have had margarine, but they were generous with the roasted garlic and cheese, which made up for it.

        1. re: bayoucook

          It like it sits in a foil "nest" with the top of the bread not covered. We prefer the crispier top like that.

        2. I don't do "traditional" garlic bread, whatever that means. I infuse olive oil with crushed garlic, brush it on both sides of sliced sourdough and then put in/on the panini grill.

          1. If you had time, you would make something like garlic confit...

            Or you toss garlic bulbs with oil and salt, wrap in foil, and roast.

            But if you don't have time, I just rub the bread with crushed garlic.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jaykayen

              For the next time... how do you make garlic confit? For right now, I've roasted the garlic, mashed it with softened butter and a little S&P, and spread it on the cut sides of the bread. It's wrapped in foil in the oven. I'll let you know how it comes out.

              1. re: CindyJ

                a lot of peeled garlic cloves, with the root ends cut off. cover with vegetable oil, and cook for 30-40 minutes or until tender, at 200 ish in the oven or stove (very small bubbles that don't break the surface.)

            2. For tops in garlic bread, you can't beat a proper bruschetta with the raw garlic rubbed against the charcoal toasted surface. Beyond that, there are some "comfort food" variations that I don't turn my nose up at, even if they might raise my eyebrow. Mom used to take a loaf of Italian bread, slash it diagonally, and insert some margarine and a clove of garlic into each slash and then heat it in the oven. I'd use olive oil or butter. Our other cheap substitute was to take hamburger buns and mix olive oil, a bit of butter, garlic powder and parmesan cheese into a paste, spread it on the bread, and toast it in a hot oven. Fresh garlic is better of course, but this concoction always gets wolfed down when I serve it.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Father Kitchen

                For five minute garlic bread, take a frozen white roll or french stick etc. Slice it into pieces and put it on a baking tray. Spread it generously with margerine or butter, and then slather it with onion powder and garlic powder, and broil for five minutes until the outside is a bit crispy. It's nothing fancy, but it's literally ready in five minutes flat, and it tastes identical to the frozen stuff from the supermarket, only better because it's not so salty. (Yes I know how to make real garlic and herb bread too... but if you only want three slices of bread this is a lot less work!)

                1. re: Kajikit

                  Add ground paprika and dried parsley and you have my mom's version for when she forgot to make the garlic bread and the pasta is already done! I grew up in a carb-happy family.

                2. re: Father Kitchen

                  My favorite garlic bread was made with softened butter, mashed with chopped garlic, parsley and . . . parmesan cheese! Very delicious.

                  I have more recently moved away from the butter to crostini, in which I lightly toast bread slices in the oven -- whatever I have on hand -- and then rub with garlic cloves cut in half, and sprinkle w/ olive oil and salt. Mmm good. And quick and easy. It jazzes up a a bowl of lentil soup quite well.

                3. Melt butter and minced garlic in micro. or on stove. Rub bread with cut side of a garlic clove before slicing the bread (NOT sourdough....)almost all the way thru. Brush melted butter/garlic between all slices and any leftover onto the top of the loaf. Wrap in foil and bake @ 275 for 35-40 minutes, unwrap the foil and let bake @ 350 for 5-7 mins. Never has failed me yet. Some chopped parsley and a little paprika (sweet) is good added to butter mix. adam

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: adamshoe

                    45 minutes for garlic bread? Yikes!

                    1. re: BastedEggs

                      I thought so too, but it's only at 275.

                  2. I microwave pressed raw garlic and butter for 20 seconds, drizzle on bread and broil until browned.

                    If I have roasted garlic, I mash with about an equal amount of softened butter, and spread fairly thickly on bread and broil.


                    1. While I dearly love to chop fresh garlic- garlic bread calls for me to pull out my Pampered Chef Garlic Press (my one and only purchase from them)- I crush the garlic into a bowl of softened (not melted) butter, and get it mixed in nice. Then slather the cut loaf and wrap in foil, toss in hot oven until I smell it and remember it's in there... (about 15-20 minutes). I don't find the garlic harsh when I crush it. You of course know you don't need a gadget to crush garlic- just use the blade of your knife and your board- but I like my gadget for this purpose.

                      1. America's Test Kitchen did a take on this, and their "secret" was to cook minced garlic over very low heat in a skillet with some olive oil to reduce that raw bite that garlic can have. Then mix it in with the butter and herbs and such and proceed as usual. Theirs was done in two steps -- foil wrapped so everything sank in and got good & hot, then opened up and crisped/toasted to finish.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: weezycom

                          That's kind of a variation on what I've done. :)

                          1. re: CindyJ

                            me too. I've done it without heating the garlic as well as the step above. It's always less harsh when I've heated the garlic 1st. I also like to open the foil up to crisp the bread before serving.

                        2. Add some chopped fresh parsley as per someone's suggestion above. Parsley really seems to be bring out and round out the garlic flavour.

                          1. If having roasted garlic around's the key, I've found it easy to stay stocked up by just tossing a head in tin foil and sticking it in the oven when I've got it (the oven) turned on anyway. If I'm feeling energetic I'll slice the tips of the cloves and drizzle some olive oil over their tops sometimes maybe with an herb sprig or two (rosemary or dill or fennel) in the tin foil surround -- but none of that's essential. When it's done I just toss it in the fridge where it stays til I need a squirt in a salad dressing or for your bread. This is just a background staple easy to keep around always. The roasted cloves never seem to go bad. You can take them out of their "jackets" after roasting and toss them all in a jar for added speed when they're needed but I find they dry out a little more quickly that way.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: aliris

                              I do that, too! We use a lot of garlic and about half of it is roasted.

                            2. Barefoot Contessa has a killer garlic bread recipe that uses a lot of the techniques mentioned here -- especially the parsley and ATK ideas. Basically, one side of the loaf gets a mix of parsley, oregano, and garlic heated briefly in oil; the other side gets butter (if I'm remembering correctly -- haven't made it in a while). The whole thing is wrapped in foil, baked for five? minutes, then baked another five with the foil opened up. No 'bite' in the garlic at all.

                              I like the roasted garlic idea as well; I've been simply making a paste from the garlic with a little salt, smearing it on a baguette, and going to town. Never occurred to me to throw in some butter et voila, garlic bread.

                              Also, Ina uses ciabatta in her recipe, which I like -- the perfect combination of crusty outside + soft, chewy interior.

                              1. For a plain butter and garlic bread that is really addicting
                                4 large smashed and chopped fresh garlic cloves sauteed in 1cube of salted butter.
                                A loaf or French bread ( I prefer soft loaf) split it open lengthwise.
                                add the butter/garlic to the inside
                                wrap in foil and put it in the over at 350 for 10 -15 minutes so that it's nice and hot
                                Carefully open, and run the broiler on low place on the top shelf with the door open and brown - wrap up loosely to keep warm
                                serve immediately.

                                1. Well, it's too late for last night's dinner, but for the future . . . I sometimes make garlic bread in the oven, with some of the variations below. But I also do it on the stove. I mince up a good bunch of cloves, melt some butter and olive oil together in a large cast-iron skillet, cook the garlic for a minute, add a bit of salt, and then dip/slop sliced italian bread in the oil mixture, i.e. put one of the cut sides into the oil and then pick it up, so it is coated with oil and garlic bits but there's not really time for the bread to absorb a lots of oil.. I stack up the dipped slices until all have been dipped and the oil is used up. Then I put the slices flat on the bottom of the pan, oil side down, over VERY LOW heat. If I have more slices of bread than can fit into the bottom of the pan, I put the extras inside the pan but upright against the edges of the pan. I leave the slices there to toast, more or less, on the pan, for about 5 minutes or so. As they become toasted on the bottom, I flip them over, and move the extras from the edge of the pan to the preferred bottom of the pan position as the first ones are done. You have to stay in the kitchen, because these can burn, but they'll be fine if you're setting the table or whatever and just keeping an eye on them. Also good in the summer if you want garlic bread with a dinner salad and don't want to turn on the oven. It all sounds more complicated than it is -- it's really easy.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: rememberme

                                    That sounds like a good idea. Nothing tastes as good as well-buttered bread toasted in the frypan...
                                    I had a go at making 'real' garlic bread tonight to go with our steak dinner. I crushed and finely chopped four cloves of garlic and put them in a frypan with half a stick of butter and sauteed them. I hoped they'd end up soft enough to mash but they got golden and crisp (oops), so then I put the whole lot and the other half-stick of cold butter into the food processer and blended it up together. It came out fairly mild...

                                    1. re: Kajikit

                                      Yeah. That sounds good. I think I do really like it better when the garlic is cooked first.

                                  2. My favorite kind, I use a good quality bread, baguette or Italian loaf, your call on that. I love roasted garlic. I usually make my own, however, I do keep a jar of preminced just in case. if I used pre minced I usually mash with a fork mix with a combo of olive oil and a little butter. I like to toast my bread first just lightly, and then top with my mix of garlic, butter and oli and then a little paprika and dried parsley. Back in the oven for just a couple of minutes and serve. If you don't like paprika or parsley by all means, you can omit them. My favorite bread.

                                    1. As the Spanish do - cloves rubbed on toasted bread with olive oil with varying additions such as rubbed tomatoes, basil, meats. etc/

                                      As I made in the 70's, garlic slowly braised in butter and salt, poured into slits in the loaf, baked at a low temp for 10-15 min in covered foil and then the foil opened at the the last 5-10 min for a crisp top. (One of my first made-up recipes as a child - and yet another dead giveaway of my age!)

                                      But what could go wrong with garlic and butter (or a really nice olive oil . . .)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: alwayscooking

                                        I make baguettes all the time, after toasting, brush with olive oil that I heated on the stove with some minced garlic and then rub with 1/2 sliced tomato. That is simple great flavor I did this the other night I made a simple pasta with egg, cream and bacon (I joke and call it breakfast pasts) My friend have never had it and was soooo impressed. I had to laugh, but I do love it. But the bread; he was amazed that I rubbed a tomato on it. My friend from Italy did one night years ago when visiting. I thought she was nuts. But wow!!

                                      2. Sounds good. Back when my grandmother used to keep goose grease in her fridge, she would toast good jewish rye, rub a clove of garlic on it, then butter it with goose grease and add a pinch of salt. Yum!

                                        1. My husband makes Ina's version, which is just delicious. I like less "grease" so my favorite garlic bread is just toasted bread with some roasted garlic spread on top. My mouth is watering for it right now.

                                          1. I cut the loaf in half lengthwise and put it in the 350F oven to warm it up for 5 or 10 minutes, then rub a cut-in-half clove of garlic over each side. Maybe 2 cloves. It kind of melts into the bread, and is there without being too strong. Then a big spread of butter, back in the oven wrapped in foil or not, depending on how crusty I want it.

                                            1. i used to use pepperidge farm hot and crusty italian bread, but i haven't seen it in years.....
                                              split lengthwise, smeared with butter blended with italian herbs (i like mrs. dash, no salt) and minced garlic, baked first in foil to warm, then "opened" up to get crispy edges. i loved to just dip that in marinara sauce. that'd make a meal.

                                              1. I make garlic butter with minced garlic. Spread it on the bread on bun and fry it in a frying pan. The garlic cooks and the bread and butter get all lovely and crisp and brown. Just make sure take the bread out of the pan by sort of pressing and dragging it so that the garlic bits stay stuck to the bread.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Sooeygun

                                                  Make your own real garlic bread using this recipe:

                                                  10 cloves garlic, peeled
                                                  1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
                                                  1 teaspoon sea salt
                                                  2 eggs
                                                  1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
                                                  1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
                                                  ½ cup whole milk
                                                  3 Tablespoons herbs (basil, oregano, chervil, parsley, or combination) minced


                                                  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Grease a loaf pan.

                                                  Puree the garlic, ¼ cup olive oil and salt in a processor. Add eggs and process till smooth. Sift flour and baking powder together in a small bowl.

                                                  Add one large spoonful of the flour mixture to the garlic mixture and process. Add one large spoonful of the milk to the mixture and process. Alternate flour and milk additions with processor going at all times. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan.

                                                  In rinsed processor, whirl remaining ¼ cup of olive oil and minced herbs till blended.

                                                  Pour the herb mixture over the batter in two parallel lines running the length of the loaf pan.

                                                  With a dinner knife, zig zag the knife back and forth across the width of the loaf pan, moving from one end to the other. Remove the knife.

                                                  Bake for one hour until golden. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes.

                                                  Remove from pan and slice while warm, or cool completely.

                                                  Serve with butter, or dip in herbed olive oil. Serve with soups, salads or cheese and olive plates.

                                                  1. re: Jay98

                                                    sounds really good, but how much does this make? Sounds like there is too little amount of flour,