Homemade garlic bread is irresistible and this one is made from scratch, dough, baguette and all. With lightly cheesy garlic butter, which you’ll wish you’d have made double the amount of, spread over the slices of tear-and-share loaf, it’s bliss coming out of the oven.
Cheese sandwich vs. toasted cheese sandwich
Take a slice of bread, butter it and sandwich with a good chunk of cheese. It will certainly fill a hole but not much else.
Now take the same sandwich, add a lick of mustard and mayo and flatten it on a red hot griddle pan, turning over twice. Heaven – toasted cheese sandwich is one of the best things in life.
The same principle applies to all toasties, panini, croques or grilled cheese – depending where you and your frying pan are from.
Bruschetta vs. garlic bread
Garlic bread works on the same basis. Take Italian bruschetta, which incidentally should be pronounced ‘brooSKetta’. Appealing, but basic: a toasted slice rubbed with a garlic clove and drizzled with oil. It won’t tempt anyone who thinks pineapple makes a traditional pizza topping.
But if you smash the garlic with the fat – okay: butter, let’s face it – and stuff it in between the bread slices, the world goes mad for it.
The chopped parsley is mandatory too, by the way: I don’t know how I’d react if presented with a garlic bread portion all in uniform beige; send it back and post a stinker on TripAdvisor, probably. I’ll confess there was a time when I thought garlic was green as a standard.
Tasty vs. skinny
My point is that processing – and cooking IS processing whether you like it or not – transforms food and there is no question about it. That’s why it’s so hard to diet: cooking, processing, transforming food makes it tasty but inescapably adds a whack of calories.
An average bruschetta with its splash of oil won’t amount to more than 70 calories per a decent slice. And you’ll more often than not have fresh chopped tomatoes atop it, adding next to zero calories and a great deal in nutrition.
Garlic bread on the other hand counts about 200 calories a portion, even if you’re being modest, and it inexplicably accompanies a (lethal in itself) dish of pasta or pizza.
It comes with addiction warning
Does it mean I’m shooting myself in the foot, writing what amounts to ‘don’t make this!’ above my recipe? Not at all; I’m just feeling obliged to issue a warning because this garlic bread here is absolutely seductive.
Of course, you don’t have to make the baguette from scratch; buy a decent French stick instead, but just think: how many calories you’ll burn doing all the kneading?