Have you ever had a giant bowl of pasta, then afterwards still feel a little empty inside? Like something was missing and you just couldn’t figure out what? Well I’ll tell you what was missing…
If you’re having pasta, no matter how much of it you have in front of you, there should always be a plate of garlic bread near by. Matter of fact, I’m sure that’s written in stone somewhere.
And I’m not talking about Olive Garden garlic breadsticks here. I’m talking…
Oh no.. Don’t you sit there and act like you never went to Olive Garden and had their breadsticks. Everyone has. Heck, it’s all people eat there, it’s a proven statistic. A sad one, but it was documented.
But I’m not here to talk about Olive Garden or how fake and terrible they are. I’ll save all that rage for another post.No, let’s get back to the matter at hand. Garlic bread. Real garlic bread. You know, with actual garlic.
I know I say it in every post, but I can’t stress the simplicity of this. If you are that person who buys the loaves of frozen garlic bread in the store, then you really need to just stop. Seriously, don’t buy anymore, those are disgraceful. Pulling that out of the freezer, into the oven and calling it garlic bread is like saying you’re going out for an authentic Italian dinner, and then driving to the Olive Garden.
Damn Olive Garden, just keeps on coming back up. (zing!):
1 each ~ Baguette or other long crusty bread
1 stick (½ cup) ~ unsalted Butter
1 ½ tablespoons ~ Fresh Garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons ~ Cilantro, chopped
To Taste ~ Salt and Pepper
- I have a few recipes for garlic bread. This is the more “party friendly” one since it’s more presentable and personal. I’ll do another one soon.
- If you don’t like Cilantro for some absurd reason, you can very easily substitute it for plain ol’ parsley.
- The salt you add can make this “ok” or it can make it “addicting”. So keep that in mind when seasoning.
- When cutting the bread, if you want crispier bread, cut it thin. I’ve cut it as thin as a quarter of an inch. This is the size that is optimal for a party platter or for general company since it’s easy to consume and doesn’t feel like a lot at once. If you want a more hearty, chewy bread then cut it thicker, about 3/4 of an inch to an inch. This is good for dinner time where one piece can soak up some sauce and last you a bit.
Alright, fun time:
- First things first, turn on the oven to 350°. Then chop the garlic and cilantro. I chop them both a bit rough since I don’t mind biting into a bigger piece of each. Once chopped, put the butter, garlic and cilantro in a pan and turn the heat on low.
- While it’s melting, cut the bread at a bias.
If you don’t know what a bias cut is, check out this informative video that’s probably going to make you scratch your head at the simpleness it teaches. Bias means to cut at an angle, and it’s mostly for presentational purposes. You won’t be using the ends, but keep them for tasting the mixture.
- When you’re done cutting the bread thin or thick depending on your preference, the butter should be melted. Add a bit of salt and pepper to the butter, stir, then dip one of the ends in and taste it. What you taste is what the end product will be like, so if you need more of salt and pepper, you’ll know here instead of at the dinner table.
- When it’s to your liking, line a sheet tray with aluminum foil then spoon some of the butter mixture onto the tray and spread it around with the back of the spoon or brush until the entire tray is covered.
- Place the bread on the tray while giving it a little swirl to get some butter underneath. When you have all the bread on the tray, get a pastry brush and brush the butter mixture on top of the bread. Put enough for a nice coating but don’t pour it on or you’ll have a soggy, greasy bread. If you don’t have a brush, just use a spoon, a fork, your fingers, seriously, who the hell cares?
- Now depending on the thickness of how you cut the bread, you’ll want to check how long you put it in the oven for. If the bread is thin, you’ll want to check it in about 8 – 10 minutes. If it’s thick, it can probably go 12 – 14 minutes.
Whichever you did, don’t walk away and forget about them. They’re going to be done when the edges are slightly golden. If you want them more golden and crispy, then by all means, you won’t hurt my feelings.
Enjoy, and don’t forget to save some for everyone else.