Call me retro, call me ‘trapped in time’, call me plain old ‘tragic’ but I do love a bit of garlic bread. I know, I know – it takes you straight back to the 70s, your Mum’s brown and orange kitchen and the occasional bottle of Mateus Rosé. There was a time when it would always make an appearance at parties and student dinner parties too – don’t try to tell me that you can resist its buttery charms when you’ve had a couple of beers …
Admittedly, nowadays, you can, more often than not, find a ready-made garlic bread in the supermarket, but if you make it yourself, you get to tailor it to be just how you like it.
And let’s not be food snobs here – garlic bread may not be up there with the latest food trends and certainly won’t win any healthy eating awards, but it is delicious and completely irresistible. Serve it alongside a Bolognese Pasta and a mid-week staple becomes a perfect Friday night treat.
But in my world, there are a couple of Garlic Bread rules –
- Number 1 – If you’re going to indulge – your partner must do the same. Double garlic breath rules each other out … doesn’t it?
- Number 2 – Never make just one loaf of garlic bread. Pop the other one, wrapped in foil, in the freezer and it will be a welcome find the next time you are rummaging for frozen peas.
So why has garlic bread stood the test of time?
- It’s quick to throw together – prepare the garlic butter, cut the loaf, spread the butter, wrap, bake.
- It’s easy to make it your own – baguette or ciabatta, parsley or not, parmesan or not … I opt for baguette, parsley and parmesan for this Cheesy Garlic Bread.
- Perfect to make dinner stretch a little further.
- Popular with the children too.
- Great to prepare ahead of time.
So, grab a beer, grab a napkin (that melted garlic butter dripping off your chin is a swine) and indulge. You deserve a treat …
- 2 medium sized baguettes (mine were 35cm (14") long)
- 200g (7oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 cloves of garlic, crushed or grated
- a few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
- 75g (3oz) parmesan, finely grated + a little extra to sprinkle over the top
- a little freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F (gas mark 4).
- Carefully slice the baguettes in chunky slices being sure not to cut all the way through. Lay each baguette on a large piece of foil which is big enough to wrap the whole loaf.
- Now combine the butter, garlic, parsley and parmesan in a small bowl (saving a bit of the parmesan for later) and mix well. Season with a little freshly ground black pepper.
- Divide the garlic butter between the 2 loaves and squidge it between the slices with a knife.
- Sprinkle each loaf with the remaining cheese and wrap the foil around the loaf, keeping the join along the top.
- Bake in the oven for 12-15 mins and then for a further 3 minutes with the foil opened up. Alternatively, pop the baguette(s) in the freezer until you are ready to eat them.