What is it about restaurant garlic bread that makes it so good? Is it the butter? The bread? The technique?
Instead of throwing in the towel and suffering through another soggy, limp, mushy loaf of oven-steamed garlic bread, why not learn to make garlic bread the way they do it in restaurants?
The trick is to think of your garlic bread not as a loaf, but as a grilled cheese sandwich, minus the cheese and sandwich. That sounds much more profound than it actually is.
First, you’ll need some garlic butter. While it may seem counter-intuitive, it’s best to use dried herbs instead of fresh when making homemade garlic butter.
Why? First off, it’s hard to mince garlic finely enough that it will incorporate perfectly into the butter. If there are any garlic chunks in there, there’s a good chance they’ll burn when you grill your garlic toast, and the taste of burned garlic is absolutely awful.
Instead, use garlic powder (not garlic salt), onion powder (again, not onion salt) and dried parsley flakes. (For a 1/2 cup of butter, try 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp dried parsley. Add salt to taste.) The dried parsley flakes highlight the second reason to use dried herbs: food safety. Using dried, your garlic butter will keep for longer without going bad and potentially making you sick. Blend the ingredients into the butter very well, so that there are no clumps of individual ingredients.
For bread, Texas toast is a popular restaurant choice, but a split-open piece of baguette or French bread will also work well. The important part is having a large, flat surface of bread to work with.
Spread the garlic butter generously on one side of the slice of bread (or on the open face of the piece of French bread), then place it buttered-side down on a flat-top grill or a frying pan on medium heat. Wait while the bread toasts on one side, much like you’d wait for a grilled cheese sandwich to cook.
To finish, flip the bread over and cook it for another 30 seconds or so. This gives the other side a bit of toasting, and helps the melted garlic butter work its way down into the bread. Once it’s done, remove it from the pan and serve warm.