- Italian Loaf (Or French Baguette) – 1 mid size
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1/2 cup
- Garlic Cloves – 7
- Chopped Parsley – 3 tablespoons
- Mozzarella Cheese – 1.5 – 2 cups
- Paremesan Cheese – 1 – 1.5 cups
- Ground Black Pepper – 0.75 – 1 teaspoon
Prep the Loaf
Take an Italian loaf and slice it from the rounded side so that it opens up like a book. But ensure to not cut it all the way through.
You can also use the french baguette if you wish, but I strongly recommend against using those fancy-schmansy artisan breads. Because their crust is a little too thick and hard at times.
And for garlic bread you need a thinner/lighter crust that will crisp up easily. Which is why, just the regular Italian loaf is best suited for this.
That being said, once you make the garlic oil (directions below), you can always choose to put it on regular sandwich bread, top it up with cheese and herbs and bake for a super quick delicious fix.
But for the purposes of this recipe, I have outlined the ingredients and method to make garlic bread out of regular Italian loaf.
Make the Garlic Oil
Once you have the loaf all prepped, it’s time to make garlic oil, which is basically just the spread that we will put on the loaf.
To make garlic oil, in a mixie, just grind together 7 garlic cloves, 3 tbsp chopped parsley along with 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil till you get a semi-smooth paste. It doesn’t need to be super smooth, some texture is okay.
Now spread the garlic oil over the loaf liberally.
Into the Oven
Once that is done, close the loaf, wrap it completely with foil, and put it in the oven (top rack) for 10 mins at 400 F.
This will really warm up the bread, and ensure the garlic oil really seeps through all those pores.
Bring on The Cheese!
After the time is up, remove the loaf and spread it open and now (finally) is the time to bring on the cheese!
First spread shredded mozzarella over the loaf – very liberally. This is roughly about 1.5 – 2 cups of shredded mozzarella, but feel free to use as little or as much as you like.
After mozzarella, it’s time to sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese on top. This is also roughly about 1 -1.5 cups — but again — use as little or as much as you like. However, with garlic bread, it’s best to NOT skimp on the cheese.
Finally sprinkle a little bit of pepper (this is optional, but yummy) – about a teaspoon would be more than enough.
Here you must have noticed that we have not used any salt. This is because the cheese has enough of it, and so no additional salt is required.
Back in the Oven
Now put this back in the oven – this time the loaf spread wide open – for about 10 mins or until the mozarella is melted and the parmesan has developed a beautiful golden color.
And voila, your ooey-goeey-cheesy-garlicky delight is ready to serve with soups, salads, pizzas, pastas or just about anything you choose. Or if you are like me, then nothing at all – Garlic Bread is pretty much the main event for me.
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- Though Italian bread is really easy to find, the size of the loaf may vary depending on where you get it from. So adjust the quantity of the garlic oil to ensure you have enough to spread it liberally over the loaf.
- Also, some loaves can be more denser than the others. You would want to buy a relatively light crusty one, so that the flavor of garlic oil will seep through all of the bread, and you will not find any part of the bottom tasting like just plain bread.
- While parsley will give a more authentic flavor, feel free to substitute it with coriander leaves/ cilantro. I know I do, because I always have that on hand, and almost never have parsley readily available.
- Finally, a note to the garlic lovers – I know if you love garlic you always tend to add a few more cloves than any recipe calls for. I know because I myself am guilty of being overly liberal with garlic. But trust me, this is NOT the recipe to do that. If you do add a lot of garlic, it will kill all the other flavors, and as much as you might like garlic, you will not like the end result of excess garlic in this recipe.