Published September 1, 1999.
Here's how to get a smooth garlic flavor without a bitter aftertaste.
Garlic bread rarely lives up to its ideal. It is so easy to make, yet so often a soggy, greasy disappointment. Sometimes there is so much garlic you can taste it for days, other times there is so little you can't taste it all. Worse yet, the bread is often totally saturated with butter.
Garlic bread should have a lightly toasted surface with a crisp crust that shatters when bitten. The bread within should be warm and chewy, light and yet substantial. Butter should be plentiful but not excessive, and the garlic flavor should be full and prominent without being harsh. We wanted crisp garlic bread with sweet, nutty garlic flavor.
Toast a generous amount of whole garlic cloves to mellow the harshness and highlight the rich, sweet, nutty flavor. Use large, wide loaves of hearty white Italian bread (the best quality you can find). Use butter sparingly to give the bread ample richness without marring its texture with overwhelming greasiness. Add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for depth and complexity without interfering with the garlic flavor. Skip the foil wrapping and cook at 500 degrees for just nine minutes for a supercrisp, toasted exterior layer.list of recipes