This bread is basically a staple in my house. If I make spaghetti, ghoulash, chicken alfredo pasta, or any other assortment of meals that are traditional staples – you can guarantee that this bread is being made too. It’s also the one thing that every single member of my family will eat, from the vegetarian to the health conscious to the picky littles. They all love the bread.
Many of my friends and family will come to eat dinner with us, or visit during different time of day I’ll often offer leftovers for them to try. No matter how good my spaghetti is they just go crazy for the bread. And then they just figure the recipe can be found on my blog. It’s almost embarrassing every time I tell them no, this particular recipe isn’t there. I honestly never thought to add it because it’s so easy breezy. So here I am, typing out the recipe for those very special people – and for you too!
There’s no strict measurements, to be honest I’m guessing at most of them. I just do a shake of this and a handful of that. I usually choose French or Italian bread loaves, although you can use Sourdough or a wheat variety as well. Sometimes I’ll pick up the other French or Italian loaves that have the herbs in the crust or the flakier crust, but this time I chose something simpler. A sweet French bread loaf is a classic and is guaranteed to be delicious.
Now, if you’re like me you might be shopping for the week instead of just that day when you pick up your bread loaf. I always buy them freshly baked from the bakery, so they’re typically in the paper packaging with one side exposed. I find if you leave them in that packaging for more than 12-15 hours the bread hardens. I keep it in the paper packaging, then place it in a plastic grocery bag and tie it in a knot. This helps prolong the softness of the bread for a few days, however there’s nothing quite like freshly baked bread.
Also important, a good serrated bread knife. This is a key investment, because a dull knife will pull and break your bread and you’ll be left with a headache – that still tastes great. So get some good knives!
Delicious tasting, quality butter is also very important. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the recipe and you can absolutely taste the difference. Be sure to use real (quality) butter for this, not margarine. I prefer to use salted butter, but because of the garlic salt that’s also used in this recipe, it can quickly get too salty for some people. For that reason unsalted butter is completely fine.
Since this is a quick recipe that I make, usually while noodles are boiling right before a dish is complete, I use mostly dried ingredients and seasonings. It’s important to use good quality ingredients to really bring the flavor out. While cheap garlic salt or dried herbs might be okay for some recipes, I definitely recommend splurging for the good stuff to keep stocked in your pantry. It really makes a world of difference!
The cheese is important in this recipe as well. Too much and it will be an oily mess. I wrote Mozzarella into the ingredients because it’s ultimately my favorite, but I’ve also used Cheddar mixed with Mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese as well. A good melty cheese with a flavor you love is what’s important. Mozzarella is a classic.
Oven temperatures do vary, but once the crust is a slightly crisp and golden color and the cheese is beautifully melted is when your bread is perfect. Let it cool before cutting in, being sure to swat little hands from grabbing before it’s ready (trust me on this).
If your kids like helping in the kitchen, making this bread is a great task to give to them. Mine, however, like to steal the grated cheese. Hey, I have to pick my battles.
My favorite way to serve this bread is with a big plate of spaghetti. Mr. Harris insists on having a huge pot of spaghetti at least 2-3 times a month, so this bread and a side salad are what helps me get past the monotony of repeated meals. I’m one that likes to experiment and have new things constantly, but when the family loves those tried and true traditional dinners, what can you do?
Pass the cheesy garlic bread and enjoy.
- 1 loaf of French or Italian Bread
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons garlic salt
- ½ tablespoon dry basil
- 1½ cup shredded mozzarella
- ½ tablespoon dry Italian seasoning
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan Romano cheese
- ½ tablespoon dry parsley
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the bread loaf in half lengthwise.
- Lay both halves out, face up, and spread the butter over the portion that's been cut.
- Sprinkle over the buttered halves with garlic salt and basil.
- Sprinkle the cheese, then top with Italian seasoning, Parmesan Roman, and parsley.
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining with a silicone mat or parchment paper, then lay the prepared bread on top, drizzling with the olive oil.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the edges are golden.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting into slices.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
Does your family have a meal that they love to enjoy multiple times a month? I’d love to hear it!
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