I have decided to go back to the basics. I am cooking foods that I grew up with and that remind me of home. One of those is garlic bread. Our family had a rotation of meals, like most families. It looked mostly like: roasted chicken, vegetables and potatoes; or pasta pesto, sausage and vegetables; or spaghetti and meatballs and vegetables. We ate a lot of Italian-inspired food. Along with that, we always had bread. Great for cleaning the bowl with or dipping in soup. I did not realize growing up how lucky we were to have good grocery store bread. I assumed that the chewy and crunchy ciabatta we grew up with was everywhere. I started cooking for myself in college and realized I was sadly mistaken. Hence, my venture into bread baking. I wanted to make the ciabatta I had missed. In reality, that typically failed, my ability to make a decent ciabatta has not yet come to fruition and the loaves I have gotten in the past have been inedible. I am not sure what the ciabatta future holds, but I am not holding my breath. What I am ultimately trying to get at here is that you need good bread to make good garlic bread, not any loaf will do. I used a baguette for this recipe, specifically the Trader Joe’s ciabatta baguette, which is better than the regular baguette in my humble opinion. This is the best grocery store bread I have found, and unless I am making sandwiches, it is my go to. I use it for croutons (or leftover homemade bread, but I am pretty sure most people do not have that just laying around their house), for garlic bread, for cheeseboards, to dip into baked brie and a number of other delectable creations.
Other than starting with good bread, the other trick is to wrap your baguette or loaf before it goes into the oven, the result is a moist and delicious garlic bread, this is not going to be crunchy, but it will be totally worth it. If you wanted it crunchy you could broil it after baking it, but I have never tried that so beware, also report back, I would like to know if it improves it (though I very much doubt it).
-1 baguette, sliced lengthwise
-1 stick of butter
-1 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
-1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the butter to a small bowl and melt in the microwave for 30 seconds, until the butter is softened, it does not need to be fully melted. Add in spices and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Take a large piece of parchment paper or tin foil, large enough to wrap the entire baguette. Lay the baguette on the paper or foil with the cut sides facing up. Spoon the butter mixture evenly onto both sides of the bread. Place the cut sides together and secure or wrap the foil or paper. Place the wrapped baguette in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until bread is warmed and butter is fully melted. Remove from the oven and when cool enough to touch cut into pieces and serve warm.
If using a rounder loaf, make vertical slices being careful to not slice all the way through the loaf.