Recipes

perfect garlic bread

Does anyone really need a recipe for garlic bread? I mean, garlic + butter + bread = it’s impossible to imagine a bad outcome. And yet I do use one. I mean, prior to today it was in my head and did not include baguette weights because despite the impression this site might give you, I’m not that crazy upstairs. I use a recipe because like most people in the year 2016, I don’t take carb consumption lightly, and garlic bread is even more of a rare luxury. Because of this, if I’m going to make it I don’t want it to be almost right but could use a little more salt, or too much garlic and too little butter, and absolutely not pale and soggy or crouton-hard. I want each time I make it to be like the best time I ever had it, a beacon of bronzed edges, lightly drenched with garlic butter with a whiff of herbs and a kiss of salty heat.

what you'll need
butter, garlic, pepper flakes, salt

I want this.

sizzling garlic butter

I want you to have it too.

garlic bread

… with a great big pot of easy meatballs, with a pile of crispy zucchini chips and a dollop of marinara, with a perfect green salad, so earnest, you might even earn seconds of bread or with a humble bowl of broth with beans and greens, for balance.

garlic bread
garlic bread

One year ago: Artichoke Gratin Toasts
Two years ago: Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms
Three years ago: Bee Sting Cake
Four years ago: Banana Bread Crepe Cake with Butterscotch
Five years ago: Blackberry and Coconut Macaroon Tart
Six years ago: New York Cheesecake
Seven years ago: Artichokes Braised in Lemon and Olive Oil and Chewy Amaretti Cookies
Eight years ago: Fork-Crushed Purple Potatoes and Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Nine years ago: Potato Rosemary Bread

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: The Broccoli Roast
1.5 Years Ago: Fall-Toush Salad
2.5 Years Ago: Lazy Pizza Dough + Favorite Margherita Pizza
3.5 Years Ago: Quickie Chicken Noodle Soup
4.5 Years Ago: Apple Pie Cookies

Garlic Bread

My go-to garlic bread has always been 1 minced garlic clove and about 1/8 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper flakes per 2 tablespoons of melted butter, plus some parsley to finish because it just doesn’t look right without it. I use about twice this for half a baguette. But when I’m being fancy, I can’t resist the “with the works” effect of Carbone-style garlic bread, with oregano, parmesan and chives on top too.

1 large (about 12 ounces), not-too-firm seeded baguette
8 tablespoons (115 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted or salted butter (if salted, skip the salt below), cut into chunks
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
Pinches of red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan or aged pecorino cheese (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon minced chives (optional)

Heat your oven’s broiler. Line a large baking sheet with foil to limit the mess you make. Cut baguette lengthwise and arrange pieces cut side up in pan. Put butter, garlic, pepper flakes and salt in a small saucepan and melt over medium-high heat, stirring, until garlic is sizzling in the butter (but not browning). Remove from heat and stir in oregano, if using. Spoon evenly over bread. Sprinkle bread with parmesan, if using, and broil — keeping a close watch on it and turning it as needed for even coloring — for 2 to 3 minutes. Seriously, watch it like a hawk. Nothing’s sadder than under- or over-cooked garlic bread.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and chives, if using, and cut into segments. We keep extras in foil in the fridge and rewarm them in the oven, but you know it’s always best on the first day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

118 comments on perfect garlic bread

  1. Kate

    Yum! My dairy allergic sister makes a vegan version involving roasted garlic blended into a paste with olive oil that is out of this world, but this looks far more weeknight manageable and I’m a sucker for tradition anyway.

  2. Grace

    The instructions say to sprinkle on Parmesan twice – not that i would ever object to double cheese on anything, but perhaps the second one should be parsley?

  3. Thank you for making the sacrifice to work through all of the slightly imperfect garlic breads to give us this ultimate garlic bread. And it may be the pastry cook in me, but I love that you give a weight measurement for the bread. It’s so accurate and easy!

  4. Jennifer

    Yum! Have you tried adding dill too? Tracy from Shutterbean dies this in her Killer garlic bread. It kicks it to a new level!

  5. Christina

    These do look like absolute perfection! But when I’m in a hurry, I just toast bread, rub it with a clove of garlic, and then drizzle olive oil or spread with butter. Anything else is just gilding the lily (though I would never say no to it!!!).

  6. Manisha

    You read my mind! I so badly want to eat garlic bread but the store bought ones leave a lot to be desired. Dinner tonight will include garlic bread. Hope I can score some more fresh bread!

  7. Zoe

    I am so glad you want us to have this too. Any recommendations on where to purchase said “not-too-firm seeded baguette” in NYC or even elsewhere?

  8. Stephanie

    Any opposition to fresh oregano in place of the dry? I’m assuming I’d up the amount. And I’m with you on making those carbs count. I want my garlic bread to be nothing short of magical. ;)

  9. deb

    Zoe — Grocery store! Seriously, all of those firm-crusted big-hole proper French baguettes can get too hard under the broiler. This was labeled a semolina baguette at Westside Market, which gave it a yellow-ish tinge.

    Jennifer — I have not. Glad to hear it’s a hit.

    Allyson — Heh. It’s all about the proportion of butter to bread, so if you’re using a much bigger baguette, it’s going to seem under-drenched, right? And what a travesty that would be.

    Stephanie — You could double and mince it.

  10. Simple, yet beautiful garlic breads. Can we add garlic in the bread batter and bake it. I think it gives even more depth of flavor to the bread. If anyone has tried it please comment.

  11. This looks yummy. You know what else is good? Stick a whole head of garlic on the grill or in the oven with other stuff and let it cook slowly. Then pull out the confit cloves and smash ’em onto bread. I first had that years ago at a pizza joint in Brooklyn at the corner of President and Clinton (an unforgettable crossroads) and it’s always a winner. I think the pizza place is gone though.

  12. Cy

    I made your everyday meatballs last night with a big Ceasar salad. We also had garlic bread, but buttered, broiled and rubbed with the clove. ( Italian tomato bread style) I usually make it similar to this recipe, but it is so addictive, I can’t control myself. I agree with you, it has to be really good or not worth the carbs. The simpler version is fine when you have all that lovely marinara sauce to sop up. Such a perfect dinner, great bottle of red and some friends. Two of my favorite things to eat. Thanks again Deb, you always know :)

  13. Sam

    Have you ever tried drizzling honey over your garlic toast before you bake it? It sounds weird, but its pretty much the best thing EVER.

  14. dogsop

    This recipe looks good but the recipe for the perfect garlic bread was published years ago in The Garlic Lover’s Cookbook. The recipe is Mary’s Garlic Bread.

  15. Minik

    Aah, so sad that I ate dinner already :( Definitely trying this tomorrow, I know I can always trust your tastebuds (did that sound weird or what?).
    One question; everytime I make garlic bread the garlic ends up tasting burned… not that I really care but I had some comments about this. I see that you cook the garlic twice (first in the pan, then the oven) and you don’t encounter this problem? Or are you one of those people that like the weird taste of burned garlic? Not judging of course…

  16. Toni

    Do you know Tordu? It is a bread similar in shape and size to baguette but slightly rounder-no pointy ends–and slightly bigger in circumference. My local world class bakery does them both daily and I have left baguette behind in favor of this softer loaf that does not get too hard under the broiler.
    Love this recipe btw–hate measuring so I’m more a cook that a baker but I can handle measuring to make perfect garlic bread!

  17. steph

    My mother makes a similar version except uses softened butter, which i find easier to distribute via spreading, and adds lemon juice! it’s so good with the hit of acid.

    The only problem with garlic bread is it’s all I want and there’s never enough.

  18. Elise

    For the other NYers out there, Fairway’s cheapest, basic baguette is about about $2, as soft as possible while still being a “baguette,” and batches come out of the oven several times a day. I’ll have to see if they have a seeded version.

  19. Emily

    I let out an audible “yes!” when I saw this recipe. Since your every day meatballs I’ve been dying to learn your garlic bread recipe (like you, I rarely have garlic bread, and when I do, I want it to be perfect). Can’t wait to try this!

    Also, I made your sheet pan chicken tikka and want to thank you for the line, “1 1/4 pounds (about 4 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled if desired.” After a long day at work, I really appreciate that your recipes aren’t fussy and maximize time. Do I desire the extra step of peeling potatoes? Nope!

  20. cR

    steph’s suggestion @lemon juice is good – or as I do, some lemon zest. PLUS I agree with her @well softened butter – easier to distribute than melted butter. I’ve done both.

    ADDITIONALLY – the merest dusting of paprika adds an attractive rustico patina to my garlic bread.

    Besides that, the recipe inside MY head that I’ve made many times is more or less your recipe here.

    Crunch.

  21. Kate

    Oh man, looking at the photo of that loaf of semolina bread makes me so homesick for New York. I live in Massachusetts now, where there are a few places to get really good “fancy” bread and lots of terrible (inedible in my opinion) supermarket bread. Good old New York supermarket semolina Italian bread does not exist here. Don’t take it for granted!

  22. Liz

    I just made pretzel rolls from one of your older recipes, looked at this and thought pretzel garlic bread. It might freshen up no longer fresh rolls.

  23. perfect timing on this one – it happens to be national garlic day! as if we need just one day to celebrate garlic…it’s more of a daily celebration at our house ;0) looks delish!

  24. I slice my bread and after using my garlic butter I put a thin slice of onion and a slice of swiss cheese between each slice then I put the loaf back together, garlic butter the top, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, wrap in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 mins. YOWSER!!

  25. Margy

    Re Bill (45), yes, this looks fab, but it also made me nostalgic for garlic bread that was sliced vertically into little slices, maybe not even all the way through, and then buttered between each slice and wrapped in foil – not crisp or lightly toasted, but full of melted butter. Or maybe I’m just nostalgic, period. Okay, back to correcting reading assignments at 2 am – this was a lovely break, Deb.

  26. Lynn

    Ahh, I wish I could eat real garlic bread but I have an intolerance to garlic that is too painful and uncomfortable to even tempt me to cheat. However, for those of you who are also garlic sensitive, I have made this with garlic salt and for some reason, I am fine, no reaction (not so with garlic powder, garlic granules or jarred minced garlic, all 3 of those will kill me).I use plenty of Parmesan and a sprinkling of garlic salt and everyone seems perfectly happy despite being cheated out of real garlic.

  27. Miriam Mc Nally

    Looks so so delicious!

    Can’t find the picture of the kids….???? I mean, food and recipes on SK is a great thing, but some of us are here to see those cute kids!

    I love the sound of your parmesan, kale and bean soup too.

  28. Dahlink

    Something asked if there is ever such a thing as too much garlic. The answer is yes, if you are a nursing mother. My firstborn went on a nursing strike when his dad made dinner and used WAY too much garlic!

  29. Vickie

    Great idea right before Passover!! But sometimes my garlic turns a greenish color.. It’s doesn’t taste different just off putting color wise. Do you know why that happens?

  30. stephanie

    maybe not a recipe, but a method for garlic bread was something i did go looking for awhile back. because it seems so simple but can turn out so “eh” or even bad, which is ridiculous. especially if you’re like me and don’t like crusty aka hard bread.

    i personally like toasty but soft garlic bread so i buy plain ol’ unsliced sub rolls from the grocery store, and slice them down but not through (think hasselback bread!), slather in between each thick mini slice with garlic butter mix, wrap in foil, bake for 15 then open the foil and bake another 5. (both time & oven temp are flexible which is awesome if you’re cooking other stuff.) the mix is softened butter, lots of garlic minced with sea salt into a paste, fresh basil or parsely, and stir in olive oil until the mixture looks like cottage cheese. the olive oil is key. pull apart garlic bread.

  31. stephanie

    #49 miriam – the photo is in the very first paragraph (“best time”) and it is flippin’ adorable as usual! :)

  32. stephanie

    pps, if peeps still haven’t made the “everyday meatballs” yet they totally should! made them again this past friday, they were inhaled as usually. and tonight is the mustard chicken milanese & salad with pickled onions, another favorite. between those and the red potato blue cheese tart on monday, it has been a very [delicious] SK week here :)

  33. Susan

    Lynn – did you ever try the following: cook garlic in butter (lots of garlic) on a very low temperature. The butter will infuse with the taste. Then strain out the garlic. You get the flavor without the pieces of garlic. I’ve used this method with others that cannot digest garlic and they have no pain at all. You would need to play around with amounts – I use larger cloves that are banged under the bottom of a glass – not minced, so they do not burn as easily and can simmer longer.

  34. deb

    Vickie — I’m pretty sure it has to do with a reaction with the salt used. A turquoise color, right? What kind of salt do you use for cooking?

    Burnet garlic taste — I ABHOR this but have never gotten it here. We’re not cooking the garlic in the butter, just letting it hiss for a few seconds so it’s really well infused. (Plus, we need to melt the butter anyway.) No brown bits. In fact, I cringe when a recipe says to saute garlic in a pan of oil for 2 minutes because I find it to be burnt city at that, more like 30 seconds, tops.

  35. Stephanie

    Love the idea of adding hot pepper flakes – my go to garlic bread recipe is cooks illustrated: For one loaf of artisanal bread – 9-10 medium garlic cloves, skins left on; 6 T. unsalted butter, softened; 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese; 1/2 t. salt

    Their trick is to roast the garlic gloves – you can do in ven, or I do in cast iron skillet, then mash with butter, salt, cheese, and spread on loaf, bake etc…

    The roasting is easy and genius – no harsh garlic flavor, but a mellow one lots of it; also can make spread ahead of time and keeps better. I think il stick with their method, but really like the herb and spice add ins

    1. deb

      RG — For something like this, I would usually vote for just making it right then because it only takes 2-3 minutes to finish, less time than it would take to rewarm. Still, if rewarming, just wrap all the pieces in a big foil packet and heat them in the oven until warmed through; should be just fine.

  36. Pilar

    OMG! I made this tonight to go with my pre-planned pasta dinner. It was so incredibly unbelievably awesome! Best garlic bread. Thank you!!!!

  37. Vickie

    And yes totally turquoise. We still eat it and it’s delish. Just funny looking! And almost always happens when I have company of course!

  38. The Mystical Kitchen

    Some might not be crazy about this idea, bur for an authentic Sicilian flavor, you could throw some anchovies on top.

  39. No doubt, you are making some excellent points with regard to salt, butter and garlic ratios, but for me, first and foremost, it’s about bread. I don’t like baguettes from local bakeries where I live. After months and months of DIYing, I finally can say I can bake a perfect (to me) baguette. That baguette I can eat alone and it tastes amazing. It’s even better with butter. That baguette will make perfect garlic bread. Poorly tasting bread will not make great garlic bread, unfortunately.

  40. Selena

    This recipe is excellent! Bread was so tasty that my hubby and kids could not leave the kitten unless they eat all bread I made!! I strongly recommend.

  41. Tiernan

    Any thoughts on how well this would freeze? I know bread doesn’t usually freeze well but is generally OK in toasted form. Once it’s baked, I know I’ll eat all of it, so sticking half in the freezer before baking seems prudent…

  42. SMO

    I just made a big batch of your everyday meatballs and was thinking “wow that garlic bread looks fabulous, I wish that Deb would post the recipe.” I checked back in today and was like “OMG woman! How did you read my mind!? What sorcery is this this!?”

  43. Jack

    Everyone says they love this bread. Yet, they seem to want to add more stuff to it. I enjoy the simple goodness of your actual recipes. After all, what is a recipe?

  44. Yummy it is! Garlic breads are my favorite food that I prefer in my train journey because it is easy to carry. I hope your recipe will make it more delicious my garlic breads. Keep sharing wonderful recipes.

  45. Mels

    Deb I cannot wait to make this! With your meatball recipe!! I NEVER eat garlic bread anymore (or a lot of bread at all for that matter) but this is totally and absolutely worth the splurge!!!!! Thank you for a delicious looking recipe! I am looking forward to making it this week :-)

    P.S. What is with all the Spam on this post?! My goodness…

  46. Cindy

    The greatest garlic bread I ever had was at Commanders Palace in New Orleans which has a sprinkling of dill. This one may win that over! Thx!

  47. Berry

    Some time, try adding fresh lemon zest, pepper, and a little dill. Or dill, parsley, and basil. The lemon combines wonderfully with the garlic, and the fresh herbs take it over the top.

  48. Linda

    I’m with Mels (#87) here…what’s with all the, ahem, () incorrect people here….
    I don’t like garlic bread, finding it (even my own) unevenly buttered-soggy. But you make yours sound great :)

  49. Laura in CA

    I made this tonight and LOVED it! It’ll be what I do to make garlic bread from
    Now on. (I had actually never made garlic bread before this). I also only had a 6oz baguette but, except the butter, didn’t have any of he ingredients and I loved it!

  50. Laura in CA

    Wait – I also cut the cheese in half. Geez! Sorry for taking up 3 comments to say what I meant to say in the first comment!

  51. Ah, yes! Thank you for posting this. I have not used a recipe for this in the past and always end up with large croutons instead of gorgeous bread… now I know it’s all about the quick broil :)

  52. deb

    Sonia — I have to be honest and say I’d rather have an unmedicated root canal than discuss presidential politics and am unsure of how I’ll make it to November. That said, I can’t imagine I’m very hard to pin down (female, Lower East Side-dwelling, Jewish, farmer’s market-shopping, liberal arts education…) :)

  53. Linda

    This looks extremely tasty, but the real reason I am commenting is to suggest something for your website. I love all of your recipes and am a huge fan. I refer to your site weekly, but I would love to know how long a recipe takes from start to finish. In my mind it looks something like: “Serves 4 takes 1.5 hours to make.” I know this sounds nit-picky, but I think that I would not be the only one to benefit from an addition like this. Just a suggestion. Thanks.

  54. Hilary

    Deb, this looks great — but just checking in to see if everything is OK? It’s been a week and I keep coming here looking for Passover recipes, since Passover started last Friday night … and seeing this garlic bread taunting me! While it does look great, I expected something that would be more holiday-appropriate, or at least not *quite* so unkosher for Passover. Hope you and your family are well!

    1. deb

      Hilary — Thank you! Everything is a-okay. I had hoped to have a new cool chocolate thing to share last week, alas, it flopped. Then we were out of town for a long weekend and now suddenly it’s almost Wednesday! (You can tell this is a one-person operation, times like this.) New recipe tomorrow and I hope, another late this week.

  55. deb

    Linda — I agree! I’d like to add this piece of information in the future. (Of course, I’m always so bad at estimating because I’m a huge slowpoke in the kitchen.)

  56. Hilary

    Glad you are OK, and your vacation sounds fabulous! So luxurious to go away without the kiddos, I know, being the mother of two myself (ages 4 and 2).

  57. Trudi Barnes

    When I was a kid, my mom made garlic four times a week. When their were extra pieces, I’d take them outside to play after dinner. I was known as the garlic bread kid! I WILL be making this.

  58. Zara

    Made this tonight and it was such a delicious treat. I make garlic toast all the time, but I never melted the butter I just put the softened butter on, which was clearly a mistake. I used a fancy-pants sourdough loaf I bought from a local bakery I have been meaning to try for ages, and it was wonderful.

  59. Elizabeth H

    Hi there! I love garlic bread, and this recipe looks delicious! It’s so hard to find really good garlic bread recipes, and homemade bread is the best! I will definitely have to try this recipe soon, especially when we have spaghetti or really any noodle dish. I really liked that you added the option of mincing chives to add to the bread. I bet that is going to be really tasty.

  60. Andrea

    Deb, we have become devotees of garlic confit and keep a glass jar of melting soft, delish cloves in the fridge (or freezer). Some folks worry about botulism but Thomas Keller is among the unworried fans. Makes garlic bread a snap, we put them in just about everything from ricotta toasts to French onion soup.

  61. Jenn

    Hi Deb,

    I have to say, I don’t normally comment on blogs/recipes etc…but I made these last Friday for the first time while entertaining some friends. Honestly – BEST.RECIPE.EVER!!! My friends are STILL talking about it and cannot stop raving about it – great thing is, this was such an easy recipe too. This was a side dish and totally stole the spotlight from the main dish :) I’ve tried a number of your recipes and all have been amazing. I tell all my friends now if they want a reliable recipe source to come to your site!!!! Thank you for all that you do!

  62. Tina

    Thank you for this recipe! My two young daughters are pretty particular eaters, but they love garlic bread. They gave this recipe two big thumbs up. The youngest said, “Mom, it’s like eating at a fancy restaurant.” The oldest said, “it’s like heaven in my mouth.” This was so easy and fast. I don’t usually follow a recipe. I just wing it with fairly good results. But this is my new go-to recipe. I will be making this again (and again, and again…). “delicious!” “awesome!”

  63. Isory

    This was really good, made it with the extra options! Do watch out with the salt when also using pecorino, and my broiler was much faster than the 2 to 3 minutes.

  64. Lila

    This garlic bread lives up to its name – perfect! I like my garlic on the mellow side, while he can’t get enough, so I made my toasts with mostly just the butter, and a few garlic bits, and I piled them onto his. Delicious.

  65. G.

    Sounds delish and quick in a pinch, but for me the BEST garlic bread always starts off with roasting a whole head of garlic. That extra step makes all the difference.

  66. Randi

    SOOOO GOOD! You could almost say perfect! I would use more red pepper flakes next time because I went cautiously and held back but other than that perfection! I paired this with the three ingredient tomato sauce and stuffed myself with ALL. THE. CARBS. Now I’m in a food coma of happiness! Will 100% make my garlic bread this way in the future. Also I will probably use the microplane next time instead of fooling around with the garlic chopping (I’m lazy!)