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 Antipasto or 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.
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.
Nutritional Info. (for 1 tablespoon garlic bread spread): 101 calories, 11.1g fat, .4g carbs, 9g fiber, .7g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 3
Step-by-step photos for making
Garlic Bread Spread
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:
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.
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.
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 the prepped bread! 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.
Make ahead and freeze the bread spread! You can also freeze the garlic bread spread to have on hand. I usually make a big batch in the food processor while I'm at it. A triple batch of the recipe will fill 9 half-cup (4 oz) jars. It is so convenient to have it ready in the freezer. You can use any freezer safe container; I use mason jars labeled with blue painters tape (economical, sticks well, but easily comes off without leaving sticky residue).
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!
Here are my other recipes that our family eats with this garlic bread.