- Preheat oven to 425° and line a large baking sheet with foil. Make garlic compound butter: In a small bowl, mix softened butter with garlic, salt, and parsley until well combined.
- Slice the bread. Spread each slice liberally with garlic butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
- Bake until bread is toasty and golden at the edges, about 10 minutes.
Garlic toast is one of those staples that can complement almost any meal, and it can be so easy to make.
Get the Right Bread for Your Garlic Bread or Garlic Toast
You can’t start out with bad bread and have good garlic bread. The bread needs some substance to it; light, fluffy bread doesn’t work as well. Here are some that we recommend:
- French Bread
- Italian Country Bread
- English Muffin Bread
- San Francisco Sourdough Bread
- French Peasant Bread
We went to the store and bought several breads. We also baked homemade breads. What worked best were the French and Italian loaves shaped like torpedoes, not too big around since we were cutting them lengthwise. We also used baguettes cut into rounds for garlic bread topped with cheese or tomatoes.
If you use big, rounded loaves, cut the bread into thick slices, 1 to 1 1/2-inches thick.
Our recipes are for one-pound loaves. If you use larger loaves, increase the ingredients proportionately.
Tips and Techniques for the Best Garlic Toast
1. Get the best garlic for your garlic bread or garlic toast.
The garlic should be rich and nut-flavored, not harsh and pungent. Spreading the bread with minced garlic was way too strong for our tastes. Roasting the garlic first yielded much milder garlic flavor. With milder, roasted garlic, we could really load it up: We used up to eight cloves of roasted garlic for each one-pound loaf of bread. If you are not roasting the garlic, hold it to four cloves.
2. Use butter, not olive oil for your garlic bread or garlic toast.
We liked butter much better than olive oil for this purpose. We spread it evenly on the bread, softening it first or mixing it with the garlic to make garlic butter. About one-half cup butter for a one-pound loaf of bread was about right.
3. Get the right temperature for your garlic bread or garlic toast.
We read recipes that recommended temperatures from 350 to 500 degrees. What we wanted was a bread that had some crunch on the top and was soft on the inside. The super-high heat, 500 degrees, was way too much; it burnt the edges before allowing the tops to dry out and become crunchy.
With a little experimenting, we settled on 425 degrees. At this temperature, the tops dried to a crunch but the inner bread was warm and chewy. Ten minutes was right for plain garlic bread.
For thicker slices, turn the temperature down but increase the baking time.
4. Get the right toppings for garlic bread or garlic toast.
For basic garlic bread, we topped it with only garlic, butter, and just a touch of parmesan—2 or 3 tablespoons, just enough to add a little flavor.
But garlic bread is perfect for explorations into other toppings. We added tomatoes, spinach, more cheese, and even sandwich spreads with some wonderful results.
But there is a trade-off: you can’t bury the bread in toppings without losing some of the crunch. We found that spreading the toppings short of the edges of the breads made a nice compromise and left the edges still crunchy.
Our Favorite Garlic Bread or Garlic Toast Recipes
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