Dry toasting the garlic cloves before mixing them in with the buttery topping is what makes this the best garlic bread.
This recipe for the best garlic bread is not one I can claim as my own because I found it over at America’s Test Kitchen many years ago. However since then I’ve made it to rave reviews for numerous groups of people including clients when I used to cater. Did you know I used to cater and people paid me money to cook for them? That’s a whole other story for another day.
Dry toasting the cloves is the key to making this garlic bread the best. The peels stay on as the garlic gets warm and toasty in a skillet which removes the bitter, raw garlic flavor and leaves behind sweet, nutty deliciousness. Once the garlic is toasted, the skins are removed before adding it to the softened butter.
The softened butter is then combined with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese, a little salt and ground pepper before being spread atop the bread. The other key to making the best garlic bread is making sure to buy the best loaf you can find. I usually use a French loaf from Panera. It smells heavenly as it’s baking in the oven.
I have some great recipes to pair with this garlic bread and you can find them here:
The Best Garlic Bread
- 10 medium garlic cloves unpeeled
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb Artisan loaf of bread halved lengthwise
- Adjust oven rack to lower-third position and heat to 500 degrees.
- Toast garlic cloves in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally, until fragrant and color of cloves deepens, about 8 minutes.
- When garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, skin and mince or press cloves through a garlic press. Using a dinner fork, mash garlic, softened butter, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pinch of pepper in a bowl until thoroughly combined
- Spread cut sides of loaf evenly with garlic butter. Transfer loaf halves, buttered side up, onto a baking sheet. Bake at 500 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until top is golden brown. Cut each half into 2-inch slices and serve immediately.
- Prepared bread can also be loosely wrapped in foil and kept in warm oven to keep fresh while dinner is being finished and served.