The perfect garlic bread recipe – Perfectly crisp edges, a soft buttery center, and topped with fresh garlic and herbs. The ideal accompaniment to any Italian dinner.
Sure, you can buy garlic bread spread at the grocery store, but once you see how easy it is to make and discover how much better it tastes when it’s homemade, you’ll never buy the premade stuff again! I guarantee it!
WHAT TYPE OF BREAD IS BEST?
Many grocery stores sell giant loaves of Italian or French bread hot from their bakery every day. These loaves are perfect for garlic bread because they soak up all that buttery goodness really well. You can even also use a baguette if that’s what you have available.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- softened butter
- grated parmesan cheese
- minced garlic
- dried marjoram
- dried basil
- dried oregano
- fresh parsley
- one loaf of French or Italian bread
Steps for Making Garlic Spread
Gather all your ingredients and mix them in a small bowl. Mix until the butter is smooth and creamy and all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Split the loaf of bread in half the long way. Place the bread on a large baking sheet. Spread a generous amount of the garlic spread on both halves of the bread.
Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. (More tips and tricks below for that perfect, golden-brown garlic bread).
TIPS FOR THE PERFECT GARLIC BREAD:
- Make sure your butter is softened, not melted. If you forget to set your butter out ahead of time, try this hack to get your butter soft quickly.
- Pour hot water into a ceramic or glass cup or bowl (something that can fit over your butter). After a few minutes, dump the water out of the vessel and quickly cover your butter. The radiant heat from the bowl will soften your butter in just a few minutes.
- After baking the bread for 8 to 10 minutes, move the oven rack closer to the broiler. Turn on the broiler and let the bread broil for about 45 seconds to 3 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on it; it can brown very quickly. I usually have the oven door open a crack and watch it closely the entire time. If you get distracted even for a minute, you can end up with burnt garlic bread.
- After baking the bread, depending on the type of bread you use, it can be hard to cut bread without squishing it. Simply flip the bread over on a cutting board, with the butter side down, and slice with a bread knife. The crust acts as a support, and the bread will cut easily without smashing the slices. Because the butter and herbs have melted and baked into the bread, very little, if any, should come off on the cutting board. With this trick, you will have beautiful-looking slices of garlic bread every time.
Nothing is set in stone with this kind of recipe. You can make the recipe exactly as it is written or change it based on what you like.
- Garlic: I LOVE garlic, so I use a lot of it in this recipe. But you can adjust the amount based on your personal preference. You can even add roasted garlic (just use a lot).
- Herbs: This recipe has several different herbs, which gives this spread a great depth of flavor. You can simply omit any you don’t like or add in new ones (rosemary, thyme, etc.).
- Fresh herbs vs. dried: Most of the herbs in this recipe are dried (except the parsley). However, if you prefer to use all fresh herbs, you certainly can. Just use 1 teaspoon each of finely chopped fresh marjoram, basil, oregano, and of course, 1/4 cup of fresh parsley.
- Make it cheesy: If you like your garlic bread cheesy, try topping your garlic bread with a hefty handful of shredded mozzarella.
Garlic Bread Spread
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2-4 large garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley, (1 tablespoon dried parsley)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 loaf French or Italian bread
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, marjoram, basil, oregano, and parsley until thoroughly combined.
- Split the loaf of bread in half the long way. Place the bread on a large baking sheet. Spread a generous amount of the garlic spread on both halves of the bread.
- Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
- Then, move the oven rack closer to the broiler and let the bread broil for 45 seconds to 3 minutes. Watch the bread closely; it can brown very quickly. When the bread is toasted to your liking, remove it from the oven.
- Slice the bread to the desired size and serve immediately. **If you have trouble slicing the bread without squishing it, flip it over on a cutting board, butter side down, and using a bread knife, slice the bread to the desired size.