Homemade garlic bread recipe with crunchy slices topped with a simple three-ingredient garlic spread. Crushed cloves of roasted garlic give the bread a slightly caramelized and savory flavor. It’s a tasty side to serve with any feast, my family always requests it on pasta night!
Who doesn’t love hot, buttery pieces of tender bread with a savory garlic spread on top? At our house, whenever I set a basket of garlic bread on the table, it disappears fast! This recipe is a family favorite and one that’s inspired by my mom Janet. With a family of five to feed, she would always make it whenever we had spaghetti night.
Instead of jarred crushed garlic, I roast an entire bulb in the oven for the most luxurious and tender paste. The roasted garlic is combined with mayonnaise and green onions then layered on top of two pieces of French loaf, then baked until golden brown. This homemade version highlights sweet garlic notes, complemented by fresh green onion slices.
Garlic spread ingredients
What makes this recipe unique is the use of whole roasted garlic cloves. It might take a little extra time to prepare, but I think the flavor transformation is worth the wait. The cloves soften and deepen in color & flavor, and the spicy, raw taste diminishes. To add back in a mild fresh onion taste, green onions give a hint of bite.
The garlic is then mashed into a paste and combined with mayonnaise and green onion. I like to make my own homemade mayonnaise, but if you’re in a pinch for time store-bought works well. Since mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil and eggs, it creates a creamy texture on the surface, which bursts with garlic flavor. As the spread heats in the oven, a golden-brown crust forms on the surface, giving a wonderful contrast of textures.
How to make garlic bread
To feed a crowd, grab a large 1 pound French loaf or Italian bread from the store. Slice the loaf in half and then spread some softened butter on top. This not only adds extra flavor but also creates a protective layer between the bread and the spread so it doesn’t become soggy.
Evenly distribute the garlic spread on both halves of bread then sprinkle with more green onions. I bake this at a lower oven temperature, 325ºF (163ºC) which makes the bread crunchy around the edges, and gives ample time for the garlic paste to become golden on top.
If you like the bread to be extra crispy, broil for a minute or two just before serving, but keep a close eye that it doesn’t burn! The garlic bread tastes the best when fresh out of the oven, but I never have to worry about it cooling down too much because it gets devoured in seconds!
This recipe makes for a classic garlic bread base, but it’s easy to add in other ingredients to switch up the flavor. If you’re missing that strong garlic bite, chop up a raw clove or two and stir it into the spread.
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, chopped parsley, chives, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, black pepper, or minced jalapenos can all be mixed in or sprinkled on top.
More bread recipes
Bake on a wire rack
If you have a baking rack that you can set on top of a sheet pan, use it! The air is able to circulate under the bread, so that it stays crisp around the entire loaf, instead of creating a harder bottom of the bread from the direct contact with the pan.
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- Set the oven rack to center position. Preheat to 400ºF (204ºC).
- Peel the white papery skin off the head of garlic, making sure to keep the cloves intact with the root.
- Cut about ¼-inch off the top of the head of garlic. If any cloves on the sides don't get cut then carefully use a knife to slice off the top.
- Place garlic in the center of a piece of foil large enough to completely wrap. Drizzle olive oil over and tightly wrap.
- Roast until garlic is fragrant, lightly browned in color, and tender when pierced with a fork, 40 to 60 minutes. Check garlic at 40 minutes, then every 10 minutes for doneness.
- When roasted garlic has cooled slightly, remove the cloves and transfer to a small bowl.
- Lower oven temperature to 325ºF (163ºC).
- Slice bread in half lengthwise. Place on a baking tray topped with a wire rack.
- Combine roasted garlic cloves, mayonnaise, and 2 tablespoons of sliced green onions in a small bowl. Use a fork to mash and mix the ingredients into a smooth spread.
- Spread equal amounts of softened butter over the sliced bread.
- Spread equal amounts of garlic mixture over each half of bread.
- Sprinkle additional green onions on top.
- Bake until bread is crispy, the topping is set and lightly golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- For extra crunch, broil for 1 to 2 minutes. Slice and serve hot.
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