In our family garlic bread is comfort food. Too bad broccoli isn't our comfort food, but that's just how it is.
Our family has used this garlic bread spread, well, forever. It was first created by my mom (aka Grammy) many years ago when she was managing an Italian restaurant. My kids grew up eating Grammy's garlic bread; sometimes made by her, sometimes made by me. We would never, ever have an Italian meal without this bread. It's as important as the Italian salad, pasta with marinara, and meatballs. Maybe more important.
The biggest lover of garlic bread in our family is T-Man, my son and the techie guy who designed The Yummy Life website and keeps it running smoothly for you. Since he was a baby (not exaggerating here), T-Man has loved Grammy's garlic bread. He has never been a big eater; well, except when garlic bread is on the table. Since I haven't embarrassed either of my children in a while, or at least not intentionally, I will share some photo evidence below.
T-Man, age 12. He's at Grammy's restaurant with his very own basket of garlic bread. Grammy always let him dig the buttery center out and leave the crust. I'm not that nice.
T-Man, age 18. He's looking like he just crawled out of bed, and that's because he did. His wisdom teeth had been removed the day before and he hadn't been tempted to try solid food yet. That's until the rest of us started eating Grammy's meatballs and garlic bread. The plate in his lap has a meatball that he couldn't quite manage to eat, and a piece of garlic bread with the buttery center dug out--he kind of let it dissolve in his hurtin' mouth. There was no way he was missing out on garlic bread. He was willing to work through the pain.
T-Man, age 27. After a long day of hiking on a recent family vacation in Banff, he appears to be strong-arming his brother, Bracken, to keep his plate FULL of garlic bread all to himself. We're still working on the sharing thing.
It's not health food. However, compared to an all-butter bread spread, this recipe has half the saturated fat, since it combines equal amounts of butter and olive oil. You can omit the butter and use all olive oil, if you prefer, but the butter gives it flavor that you can't get any other way. And, honestly, my family would revolt if I messed with this recipe. In our house, it's one of those traditional foods that has to remain true to the original.
long loaf of good bread (French, Italian, sourdough--whatever you like)
Step 2. Prepare the garlic. You need 2 tablespoons of minced or mashed garlic. I usually throw in a whole bulb of garlic and skip the measuring. Here's an easy way to peel and mash the garlic.
peel the outer layer of the bulb; separate the garlic cloves by rapping the crown of the garlic bulb on the counter and pulling apart the cloves
place the separated cloves in a small bowl; microwave for approx. 20 seconds until you hear them make a popping noise--careful not to overdo it
that small amount of time in the microwave makes the peels easily come off
mash the peeled cloves with a fork; that few seconds in the microwave softens the cloves and makes them easy to mash
Step 3. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Stir until well combined--it's okay if it's a little lumpy. At room temperature, it's soupy and can be brushed on or spread with a knife. It hardens when it's stored in the refrigerator, but becomes spreadable quickly once it's out of the fridge.
2 Ways to Make Garlic Bread: Garlic Toast or Tin Foil Bread
Method #1: Garlic Toast This is how I most frequently make garlic bread. I love the crispy bread and toasted flavor. The only drawback is that it has to be toasted right before you sit down to eat. It's great when it's hot and freshly toasted, but not so great once it cools.
Procedure: Slice a long loaf of bread lengthwise through the center. (Mine is a ciabatta loaf--my favorite because of the nooks and crannies that get all toasty and buttery. This loaf came from my Whole Foods bakery. ) Separate the two halves and coat both sides generously with garlic bread spread. Restack the halves and cut in 2"-3" slices. Place buttered side up on a baking sheet and broil until lightly browned.
That awesome orange bread knife is new. It was a birthday gift from my friend Sheri (of The Loopy Ewe), and it cuts like a dream! You can check it out on Amazon.
Can't you just hear the crunch when you sink your teeth into the garlicky, buttery goodness?
Method #2: Tin Foil Bread This bread is soft, buttery, and melts in your mouth. I make tin foil bread when I'm cooking for a larger group. It can be assembled ahead and held in the fridge until it's time to warm it up for dinner. I serve it right out of the tin foil; that way it stays warm if it sits out for a while.
Procedure: Slice and coat the bread in exactly the same way as for garlic toast. (I'm using a whole wheat loaf from Whole Foods.) Instead of separating the pieces, place the sliced loaf on a large sheet of foil, fold over foil along the center, and then fold in the ends. (I split my loaf between two foil packets to make it more manageable in my oven.) Bake for 20-30 minutes and it's ready to serve.
Make ahead and freeze! You can assemble these tin-wrapped loaves and keep them in the fridge or freezer for heating at another time. If frozen, let the loaf rest on the counter for 1 hour to thaw completely before heating in the oven. Or, remove the pieces from the foil and broil them to make garlic toast.
Look at those pieces of garlic and spices on that buttery soft bread. Comfort food indeed!
Grammy's garlic bread is a must with a pasta meal. You are required to dunk the bread in the pasta sauce. Repeatedly.
Make it a Yummy day! Monica
Here are my other recipes that our family eats with this garlic bread.
2 tablespoons minced or mashed garlic (approx. 1 garlic bulb)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground recommended)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Combine ingredients and mix well. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week. May be frozen for future use.
For garlic toast. Spread on sliced pieces of bread, place on baking sheet, and broil until lightly browned.
For tin foil bread. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice a baguette (or other long loaf) in half length-wise through the center of the loaf. Separate the two halves, spread each cut side generously with Garlic Bread Spread. Re-stack the two halves and cut into slices. Place sliced loaf on large sheet of foil, fold over foil along the center, and then fold in the ends.* Bake for 20-30 minutes until center pieces of loaf are warmed through and spread is completely melted. *May be frozen at this point for heating at another time. To use, let rest on counter for 1 hour to thaw completely before heating in oven.
Enter your email address below and I'll send new recipes from the Yummy Life directly to your inbox (about one per week). I'll also start you off with a free copy of my eBook: 21 amazing and healthy salad and dressing recipes.