Breads and Crackers The Book

3. Garlic Bread p.606

the recipe

Ahh Garlic bread, the ubiquitous starchy accompaniment to a big plate of my mom’s pasta. Weren’t the fat phobic carb happy 80’s a good time? So this is fairly idiot proof: apply garlic butter to bread, bake in tinfoil till warmed through, open tinfoil package to crisp up bread. Who could screw this up? apparently I can.

Things were going well through the cutting of the ciabatta loaf, and smearing butter stages. All clear for operation put in tinfoil and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Things were going so swimmingly I decided to focus on the rest of dinner. 15 minutes became 20, and the first hint of burning came to my nose. I never opened the package to crisp, and while the bottom of the loaf got nicely done, the rest of the loaf was the soggy mess of a thousand backyard BBQs.

Soggy garlic bread does have some fairly good memories associated with it, and
I enjoyed it thoroughly. However, I was really looking forward to the crispy crunch. Thankfully this is as simple a recipe as there is, so a redo won’t call for any untoward effort.

One thing I really appreciated about this was the suggestion to replace the parsley with basil (a suggestion not made in the linked recipe). To me parsley is a bit of waste of an herb, the Italian stuff has some nice flavor, the frizzy has none. All in all I’ll give parsley a pass whenever possible. Unfortunately The Book (and the whole world) seems to have a bit of thing for it. I won’t balk at spending eight bucks on a tiny piece of goat cheese, but that 79 cent parsley tax so many recipes charge really irks me.

This is a childhood classic not re-imagined in any way, as it should be.


I'm a graduate student in Montreal. I spend most of my time studying drug addiction using brain imaging techniques. I'm also a foodie, exploring the culinary world both in and out of my kitchen.

3 replies on “3. Garlic Bread p.606”

I don’t really understand this whole wrapping in tinfoil thing when making garlic bread, even though it seems to be the norm. My method has always been:

1. Cut bread into lengthwise slices.

2. Smear slices with garlic and/or herb butter (never parsley though, I’ll third that motion).

3. Put slices directly under broiler until nicely crispy.

4. Eat.

It adds an extra layer of idiotproofing for those who really can’t get their head around wrapping stuff in foil or cutting almost through a baguette, reduces the actual cooking time to about 3-5 minutes, and guarantees delicious crunchiness on the outside with warm, buttery goodness on the inside.

Might I also say that I have been this project was an awesome idea since you mentioned it in the summer, and look forward to many happy hours reading and leaving unsolicited comments.

Hmm, I think the purpose of the tinfoil is to let the garlic heat up and perfume the bread without burning. I’m surprised that the garlic doesn’t burn / the herbs don’t wither in the under the broilder strategy. I guess I’ll take my curiosity to the oven the next time I’m in the mood for garlic bread.

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