Garlic bread is “simple to make but often a disappointment to eat,” said Cook’s Illustrated. The recipe below solves a few common problems, including bread that gets steamed in the middle and blackened at the edges. Because the grated garlic is briefly microwaved, its flavor ends up just right—“prominent but not harsh.”
Recipe of the week
Cook’s Illustrated’s ‘really good garlic bread’
1 tsp garlic powder • 1 tsp water • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened • ½ tsp salt • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, grated to paste with a rasp-style grater • 1 loaf soft supermarket-style Italian bread, halved horizontally
• Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Heat oven to 450. Combine garlic powder and water in a medium bowl. Add 4 tbsp butter, salt, and cayenne; set aside.
• Place remaining butter in a small bowl and microwave, covered, until melted, about 30 seconds. S tir in grated garlic and microwave, covered, until butter bubbles around edges, about 1 minute, stirring halfway through. Add to garlic powder–butter mixture. Whisk until a loose paste forms. (If the mixture melts, set it aside and let it solidify before using.)
• Spread butter mixture evenly on cut sides of bread. Lay bread cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until butter mixture seeps into bread, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven. Flip bread over and gently press second baking sheet on top. Return to oven, leaving second sheet on top, and bake until cut sides are golden and crisp, 4 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Cut each half loaf into 8 slices. Serve immediately.