Ed and I love garlic bread. We ate an entire French baguette (and a stick of butter) in one afternoon the last time I made this. The simplest (and my favourite) way to make this is to start by making homemade garlic and herb butter. You can then bake the butter and bread or simply spread the garlic and herb butter onto warm slices of fresh bread (I got that idea from my friend Erin). You could also make a garlic cheese bread by adding some shredded cheese prior to baking (you will need to increase the baking time by a few minutes).
You could also use this compound (flavoured) butter on grilled steak, or baked or mashed potatoes, etc.
Garlic Bread Recipe
makes enough for one large baguette; Note that the garlic and herb butter can be made in large quantities and frozen
1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 large clove garlic
small handful of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of finely grated hard cheese (ie. parmesan or pecorino) – Note: I use a coarse Microplane grater
optional: other dried or fresh herbs of your choice, ie. oregano or basil
Preheat the oven to 350 F with a rack set in the middle of the oven. Meanwhile, mince the garlic finely. Then add a large pinch of salt and use your knife to crush and scrape the garlic until you have a paste. In a medium sized bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix the butter, garlic and salt paste, herbs, and grated cheese until well combined. Alternatively, you could use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Slice the baguette in half lengthwise and spread the garlic and herb butter evenly onto both cut sides of the baguette. Bake directly on the rack in the preheated oven until the crust of the bread is crispy and the soft side of the bread is hot, about 7 to 10 minutes. Slice into pieces and serve immediately.