There is no stopping this Garlic Bread, y'all. This is the BEST recipe. What could be better than delicious crusty-yet-chewy bread, toasted with softened salted butter and garlic in every bite?! I've got 3 basic tips that will level up your homemade garlic bread, and 3 methods for how to make it. Let me show you just how easy it is!
Add 3/4 cup butter to a small bowl. Let soften to room temperature, or speed it up by microwaving it in 30 second increments at a low power level (I used power level 2). It's ok if a little bit of the butter starts to melt, don't stress. But try to make the bulk of it softened and not melted.
Add 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder* to the bowl. If you are using UNSALTED butter, triple the salt. (If you only have table salt, go easy.)
Mince the garlic.* Use the side of your chef's knife to smash 5-6 cloves of garlic. Peel the papery stuff off, then mince the garlic finely. Add to the bowl with the softened butter.
Optional: Add fresh herbs. Finely mince 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon thyme and 2 tablespoons parsley. I just made up all those measurements. Add in whatever your heart tells you. You can use just one or all these herbs. This combo is my favorite!
Use a spatula to mix the butter and garlic and the rest all together. Choose one of the following methods for making your garlic bread:
Crispy-Edge Garlic bread (my fav)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Use a serrated knife to cut your loaf of bread in half the long way.
Use the spatula to spread all the garlic butter on the inside of the cut loaf. It might feel like too much. Add it all anyway. Make sure you coat the edges of the bread, even the top edges of the side of the bread.
Place each loaf half on a sturdy baking sheet that can handle high temperatures.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes until heated through and the butter is all melted.
Turn your broiler on to high heat. Take out the bread and move your oven rack up to the highest it can go, then return the pan to the oven. Set a timer for 1 minute and do not walk away. Take the bread out when the top is as toasty as you like. Don't burn it! Also, burned bread tastes ok, but burned garlic does not taste okay. TOASTY, yes. Burned, no. So be careful.
Cheese option: Right before you broil, sprinkle the top of the loaves with 1/2 cup parmesan and 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Broil until the edges are crispy and the cheese starts to turn golden, 1-3 minutes, don't walk away!
Let cool for a hot minute before slicing and serving. Use foil to hold the bread so you don't burn your hand. I like to serve the slices in a tea-towel lined bread basket or bowl.
Soft Garlic Bread
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut your loaf of bread into about 1 inch slices.** Spread the garlic butter on one side of each slice. Use all of it!
Lay out a large piece of foil and place all the buttered bread on the foil, reshaped back into a loaf. (Each slice of bread should be standing on its edge.) Lay another piece of foil on top of the loaf. Press the foil together and fold the edges up. See photos.
Place the foil-wrapped loaf on a sturdy baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until the butter is all melted. Serve hot!
Cheese option: Stir 1/4 or 1/2 cup shredded parmesan into your garlic butter before spreading it on the bread. Then slice about 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese and layer it in between each slice of bread. Spray your foil with nonstick spray so it doesn't stick, and wrap as directed. Bake for about 20 minutes at 325. (You need a lower temperature for a longer time to help the cheese melt.)
Fast Garlic bread
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Slice your loaf of bread into 1 inch slices, cut on a bias, and spread them out in a single layer on one or two sturdy baking sheets. Spread each slice with the softened garlic butter.
Bake at 425 for about 3-7 minutes, depending on how crispy you want it.
Cheese option: Once the butter is melted, remove the bread from the oven and sprinkle 1/2 cup parmesan and 1 cup mozzarella over all the slices of bread. Turn the broiler up to high heat, and return to the oven for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted. Don't walk away from your oven when the broiler is on! Set a timer!
* I make garlic bread all the time without fresh garlic. Use 1 tablespoon high quality garlic powder instead of the 1/4 teaspoon called for. It's delicious and so easy!** Many recipes tell you to "hasselback" the bread, leaving the bottom inch or so uncut, so that your bread looks a bit accordion-ish. "This way the butter won't seep out the bottom," they say. Hogwash. This just means you have to slice your bread twice. (And if you don't, you destroy your bread at the dinner table trying to rip it apart). Cut it all the way and save yourself a step. The foil keeps all the butter contained. (Using softened butter instead of melted butter also helps the butter not seep to the bottom.)Storage Instructions: Store in a sealed container or ziplock bag in the pantry for 3-4 days. To reheat, wrap in foil and bake at 350 for about 5 minutes until warmed through. Take the foil off the last few minutes for crunchy edges.For an air fryer, shorten the time by a few minutes. You can toast one piece or two at a time for crunchy bread. Microwaving bread isn't great, but 8-10 seconds will work in a pinch.Freezing instructions: Place cooled bread in a freezer ziplock bag, removing as much air as possible, and seal. Or, double wrap with foil and then plastic wrap. To eat, remove any plastic (keep the foil), then bake it straight from frozen at 350 for 10 minutes.