Garlic bread has been a staple of cultural cuisines across the West for centuries, starting from a simple little flourish and becoming a phenomenon loved by all.
A brief history of Garlic Bread
Who earns the glorious title of the inventors of garlic bread? While we see variations all over the world, the original buttery garlicky toasted bread comes from Italy, first recorded in books around the early 17th century.
According to the folks over at the AskHistorians subreddit, a site known to have a special affinity for garlic bread, the recipe comes from the Italian tradition of bruschetta or toasted bread with butter and garlic. Skeptical of Reddit? Wikipedia says the same thing!
Peasants and nobles alike had been dipping bread in olive oil since the Roman Empire, and the incorporation of garlic was just a natural next step for bigger flavors.
Over the next several hundred years, this simple yet effective recipe spread far and wide, and before long, there wasn’t a province in Western Europe that didn’t have a unique recipe.
When the recipe was first brought to the United States in the 19th century, it was an instant hit across the nation.
The simplicity of the dish and its ability to pair with a variety of easy meals made it popular with both the rich and the poor.
Nowadays, you can find garlic bread in nearly every grocery store in the country, whether its frozen or available fresh at the bakery.
It’s one of those glorious creations that brings everyone together, and the love is well-deserved.
What is the best bread to use?
Everyone has a slightly different idea of what the perfect garlic bread looks like.
Some imagine a crusty baguette cut into short horizontal slices, while others desire a football-shaped loaf with a softer exterior.
Although there aren’t strict rules for bread selection, you want that butter, garlic, and cheese to pair nicely with the flavor and absorb into the crumb, rather than sticking to the surface.
We’ve all had some questionable garlic bread that just doesn’t taste right, and that’s usually because the main ingredients did not sink deep enough into the bread.
What matters most of all is that your chosen bread is capable of carrying all that delicious fat in a way that complements the natural flavors of the loaf.
Here are a few classic bread types that are perfect for this dish:
- Rectangular white bread Pullman loaf gives you that Americana twist to the Meditteranean classic. The squishy, spongy crumb is perfect to mop up the butter, cheese, and whatever other herbaceous flavors you choose to include.
- Ciabatta is a slightly tougher and spongier Italian loaf that does a great job at retaining its shape in the oven. Don’t worry about this bread falling apart or failing to pull its weight under all your favorite toppings.
- Focaccia may not be the thickest bread around, but when baked just right, it delivers a next-level crunch only amplified by the robust flavors of garlic and cheese.
- Ancient grain boules are a hearty alternative if you don’t want the guilt of processed flour. Ingredients like spelt and khorasan make a loaf of impressive garlic bread and are perfect for dipping in a heart tomato soup or marinara sauce.
- Multigrain garlic bread may not seem like an intuitive recipe, but the flavors balance quite nicely and offer a slightly chewier texture, rather than the usual characteristics of melt-in-your-mouth standards.
- French baguettes retain their charm and offer an unbeatable sense of crunch and satisfaction, plus the pieces are perfectly bite-sized for all to enjoy.
All that garlic bread talk can really ramp up the cravings, and for the low-carb crew out there this is a party that they hate to miss out on.
Every single one of these loaves (even the healthier ones) are packed with carbs, and this spells trouble when trying to make a healthy version of garlic bread.
We all know that gluten-free loaves are not exactly absorbent, and they do not hold up well to heavier ingredients, either.
Yes, you can use a loaf like whole wheat or even sprouted grain, but this requires a bit of extra caution, and you still have to face the carb consequences.
We recommend toasting the bread ahead of time so it does not become soggy under the heavier ingredients and then baking the entire thing over again.
Later on, we’ll explore a new solution that transforms garlic bread into a nutrition-packed feast, but for now, let’s look at the classic recipe in-depth.
The method that never fails
The best way to make great garlic bread doesn’t really change that much based on your choice of bread. It’s a fairly simple process with only a few ingredients and steps.
It all starts with your garlic, which you will want to crush using a specialized garlic press tool or macerate each clove by hand on a long grater.
Stir in that garlicky goodness with a GENEROUS amount of melted butter and create a decadent mixture that includes a few dashes of salt, parsley, and some extra spices if you want to crank up the heat a bit.
Once that mixture is looking good, turn your attention to the bread.
A horizontal slice down the middle will be the best move since you want two perfectly symmetrical pieces to cook evenly at the same time.
Only make that one slice for now. You want the garlic/butter mixture to absorb throughout the entire crumb and not drip excessively into the pan.
Once you begin to spread the gooey mix across each piece of bread, take extra time to ensure the even distribution of butter goodness.
Don’t miss a nook and don’t skip a cranny. It may look like you’re overdoing it with the butter, and let’s be honest, you probably are, but that’s the entire point.
Use a fork, a spatula, or preferably a basting brush to gently bathe the bread in butter from top to bottom. It may take a few rounds of work to ensure it all sinks in.
Once the job is done, pop that puppy into the oven at a hot 425 degrees and let it bake for around 15 minutes - a few minutes more if you like it extra crispy.
If you want to top your garlic bread with cheese, which you absolutely should do, take it out of the oven around two minutes before it’s done, and sprinkle more than enough cheese to go around. Another couple of minutes and you have a masterpiece.
Make it a healthy meal
When we think of garlic bread we tend to picture pasta, marinara sauce, meatballs, and red wine. Pretty much the opposite of a clean diet.
But what if there was a way to turn garlic bread into a low-carb meal that you didn’t have to feel guilty about eating?
Since garlic, butter and cheese are not major carb culprits, it comes down to the bread.
Bringing garlic bread back into low-carb kitchens is one big reason why we’re proud of our Superfood Bread, which only contains 2 net carbs per slice.
Trying to stick to the keto gameplan but craving garlic bread? We’ve been there.
Now, you can feel free to load up a slice of Superfood Bread with tons of cheese, butter, and garlic, and pair it with some light tomato sauce and meatballs for an Italian feast.
You can also freestyle garlicky bread bites for an appetizer, or load up a decadent deli-style sandwich with garlic bread toast on either end.
Remember, protein is your friend, so don’t hold back on the turkey, chicken, or steak tips that bring your creation to the next level.
This Superfood Bread gives you a huge amount of flexibility to create tasty snacks and meals you have been missing out on for far too long.
There’s no getting around the fact that old-school garlic bread is a far cry from healthy food.
Big on carbs and fat, and low on protein, the bruschetta-style comfort food will obviously not help folks lose weight or stay on track with their keto macros.
But we are proudly responsible for flipping the script, and finally making it possible to enjoy a super nutritious version of G-bread thanks to our Superfood solution.
This is just one example of the endless recipes available to you once you make the switch. Just look at our huge fanbase that pumps out amazing creations all day long on social media.
If you are tired of sitting on the sidelines of classic comfort foods like grilled cheese, French toast, and yes, garlic bread, then it’s time you looked into how Superfood Bread can change your life.
Be sure to shoot us a message, follow us on social, and become a part of the Uprising Revolution that brings real bread back to the people!