A type of bread flavored with garlic and butter. The garlic and butter are usually spread onto bread that has already been baked rather than being incorporated into bread dough. The types of bread most often used when preparing garlic bread are a basic French baguette or baton or a long Italian white loaf. The bread loaf is cut lengthwise and split open, then buttered and covered with minced garlic or sprinkled with garlic powder or garlic salt. The loaf is wrapped in foil and is then heated in the oven to melt the butter so that the flavor of the butter and garlic is absorbed into the bread. Instead of using butter, the loaves may be drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, a healthier alternative providing excellent flavor. The bread is then sliced and served immediately as an appetizer or accompaniment to a main meal. The bread may also be brought to the table without being sliced, with individual servings torn from the loaf as it is passed around the table.
Garlic bread loaves may also be heated unwrapped, under the broiler oven, in order to lightly toast the bread. More often, if toasted bread is desired, the loaf is not split, but is cut into individual slices, with each slice buttered or oiled, topped with garlic, and then toasted under the broiler to create individual garlic toasts. The toasts make an excellent appetizer or hors d’oeuvre when topped with other ingredients, such as pesto, chutney, meats, or cheeses. When served as is, they are a tasty accompaniment for soups and salads.