Garlic Cheese Bread

I used to love eating “cheap grocery store garlic French bread.”  You know, the kind that is slathered in bright yellow margarine, overly seasoned with garlic salt, and sprinkled with dried parsley leaves?!  Typically, these loaves of garlic bread are packaged in some type of foil bag and you bake it at home.  All I know is this… there is a time and place for this type of bread.   For me, I haven’t eaten this type of garlic bread in years.   I guess I stopped eating it when I stopped attending community dinners which served this type of bread along with spaghetti, and an iceberg lettuce salad covered in ranch.  Those were the days.

Fast forward to today.  Although I don’t occasionally mind indulging in this type of garlic bread, I’ve moved on to a lighter cheesier version.  One where the bread isn’t saturated with margarine but is seasoned with a light coating of butter and minced garlic.  I also like to top it off with a little cheese, just for the fun of it.

The end result is a crusty rustic bread, with flecks of minced garlic hiding in the air pockets.  Crusty on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.  Not one element of this bread overwhelms the other. Everything is slightly subtle and noticeably present.  I love eating this bread with soup, salad, or by itself.  Whatever leftovers I have I stick in a ziplock bag and put in the freezer to use another day.  This bread reminds me of a simple black cocktail dress adorned with a single strand pearl necklace – classy, sophisticated, yet simple and beautiful.

If you love eating bread with your meals, this would be the perfect way to dress it up and feel accomplished, even if it was terribly easy to make.  My favorite types of recipe.  Enjoy!

Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time:  5 mins Cook time:  15 mins Total time:  20 mins
Serves: 8

Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe – The perfect way to transform a simple baguette from ordinary to extraordinary without much effort!
1 baguette, horizontally cut in half
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened or partially melted
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1-1.5 cups shredded cheese (any type you like) * I like a blend of Parmesan, provolone, and Mozzarella
optional 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place both sides of the baguette on a cookie sheet with the crust side down and the cut side up. In a small bowl, combine butter and garlic and spread evenly on baguette halves. Be sure to press the garlic butter down with the back of a spatula or spoon so the small pieces of garlic are pushed into the air pockets of the bread. Bake bread for 15 minutes and remove from oven. Change the oven setting to high broil. Evenly sprinkle cheese over the halves of bread and stick the cookie sheet back in the oven. Broil for 1 minute or until cheese has completed melted and shows a few golden bubble marks. Remove from oven and carefully slice bread in diagonal pieces and serve. Store remaining slices of bread in the freezer in a ziplock bag to use in the future. Enjoy!

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