Traditional Italian Garlic Bread
Most garlic bread in America is prepared using a soft “Italian” loaf that is layered with hefty amounts of butter, oil, salt, and dried herbs. After baking, it’s literally dripping with fat. Italians on the other hand usually only serve plain bread at the table, and most Italian breads are unsalted, especially in Tuscany. My version, a twist on both ideas, is simple to make, light, and delicious to eat. Using hearty bread, fruity olive oil and fresh garlic, this is a recipe you’ll use over and over.
1 loaf Tuscan style bread (firm dense bread is essential)
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole
Slice the bread into 1-inch thick slices. Grill, broil, or toast both sides of the slices until they’re lightly browned, but still retain a little spring to the center. While the slice is still hot, take the peeled clove of garlic and gently rub the surface of the bread, concentrating on the outer edge next to the crust. The pressure you use rubbing the garlic on the sliced bread will determine the depth of garlic flavor, so go lightly if you want less garlic. Next, lay the slices on a sheet pan and drizzle them with olive oil. Add a sprinkle of salt and enjoy.
Serve accompanying any entrée or use as your canvas for a wide varities of bruschetta toppings. A slice of this bread is also wonderful placed in the bottom of a bowl with your favorite soup spooned over it.
Any dense loaf of bread works for this recipe, including whole wheat, multi-grain, and French baguettes. Slice a thin baguette into rounds and you have instant crostini, for appetizers or soups.
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