I take garlic bread quite seriously, and if it’s perfectly made it becomes one of the foods I simply cannot resist.
A while ago I came across an article on the Guardian UK blog about how to make a perfect garlic bread. From the start, the authors musings about this irresistible snack totally resonated with me. I agreed with everything she said. She had done thorough research into a range of recipes by popular celebrity cooks and compared them all against each other. She clearly is as into garlic bread as I am.
While each of the offerings by Nigella, Jamie, Nigel and Ina had their merits, she finally settled on what she perceived to be her perfect baked garlic bread and I totally agreed with her in every way.
I decided to test this recipe using coriander (cilantro) instead of parsley because I know what that tastes like. I had also never used Parmesan cheese in the past, so was eager to give this a go.
You can read the brilliant article by Felicity Cloake here.
The other adjustment I made have I used a baguette vs the ciabatta loaf she recommends. I think ciabatta would be better because its softer and will crisp up beautifully when the foil is opened and all the herby butter browns the crust.
I also omitted the squeeze of lemon juice with my version as I felt it was better suited to parsley than cilantro. But you can decide.
The recipe will make 1 large garlic loaf:
- 1 loaf of ciabatta bread or a large baguette (2 small)
- 100g salted butter softened to room temperature
- a small handful of coriander leaves finely chopped (about 2 T)
- 4 cloves of garlic crushed
- 30g of finely grated Parmesan cheese (and a bit extra to sprinkle over the loaf)
- (a squeeze of lemon juice if desired)
Preheat the oven to 200 C. Mix all of the above ingredients thoroughly to combine. Slice the bread loaf into desired slices, ensuring that you don’t cut all the way through. I like fairly thick slices. Spread the butter mix fairly generously between all the cut slices, without overdoing it, you don’t want to land up with dripping oil-soaked bread. Sprinkle the extra Parmesan over the bread and wrap in foil. Bake for 20 minutes and then open the foil and bake for a further 5 minutes to brown the loaf. (I left the last step out as the bread I used was already fairly brown and crispy).
- This is probably, almost definitely the best-ever garlic bread I have ever had.
- Now that I have eaten it with Parmesan, I will never leave this out. The cheese melts into the butter so when you pull the bread apart you see melting stringy bits. It also adds a lovely flavour.
- The coriander tastes just as good as the parsley so I will use either in the future.
- The garlic is super pungent which I love, but if you want it milder, reduce the quantity down to 2 or 3 cloves
How do you like your garlic bread?
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