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Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is a classic recipe. It makes an essential accompaniment to Italian dishes, especially pizza, but has far wider use. Personally I like to have garlic bread as an alternative to rice or naan with a creamy curry such as chicken tikka masala. It's also great to serve with a finger buffet or as a snack on its own.

The type of bread varies. Perhaps the most common form is the baguette cut into slices with the garlic butter in between. However many restaurants also sell Italian flatbread, sometimes made from pizza dough, with garlic butter melted on top.

How to Make Garlic Bread

These days you can easily buy garlic bread at many shops, so why would anyone go to the effort of making their own? In my case it's simply because not even the "extra strong" varieties have enough garlic!

Recipe

There's no single definitive recipe for homemade garlic bread. As long it you've got bread, garlic and butter then just about anything goes! The most common form is to make garlic butter by crushing some garlic and blending it with butter until smooth. If you're using a baguette or similar stick bread then make not-quite-complete cuts at intervals and spread the butter between them. If you're more interested in taste than health then you can also spread the butter along the top!

Some people like to add extra ingredients to the garlic butter: chopped parsley and grated cheese (maybe a strong cheddar or some Parmesan) are popular. The version I like best is to add a few drops of hot pepper sauce just to give it a bit of bite.

Cooking

There are different ways of cooking garlic bread. Personally I like to wrap the baguette in foil and leave it in an oven for about 20 minutes. Then I unwrap the foil and give it a few more minutes to crisp off. Be careful not to overdo this last bit or you'll burn the top of the bread.

Can you microwave garlic bread? That's a matter of opinion. You certainly can and many people do - but I don't.

It cooks and tastes ok, but personally I don't like the texture. I find that any form of bread cooked in the microwave ends up with a rather tough, almost rubbery texture which I find unpleasant.

So by all means cook your garlic bread in the microwave - but please don't serve it to me!