More than 1 million home cooks rely on Cook’s Illustrated magazine to provide trusted recipes that work, honest equipment reviews and ingredient taste tests, and time-saving kitchen tips. Published by the hosts of America’s Test Kitchen television series, Cook’s Illustrated is known for an almost fanatical approach to creating the best recipes for the home cook’s favorite foods. To do this, they test every recipe 20, 30, sometimes up to 100 times in their own 2,500 square foot test kitchen where they make the mistakes so you don’t have to. They also test and recommend which kitchen equipment is the best to use, which supermarket ingredients really make a difference and which techniques work best for the home cook. And because Cook’s Illustrated is advertising free, you can trust their objective ratings to identify what products are worth your money and which to avoid. Subscribe to Cooks Illustrated here, or sign up for the Perfectly Plated Sweepstakes for the chance to win $5,000 in merchandise from Ballard Designs.
For our best garlic bread recipe, we toasted a generous amount of whole garlic cloves to mellow the harshness and highlight the rich, sweet, nutty flavor. We used butter sparingly to give the bread ample richness without marring its texture with overwhelming greasiness. And we added a sparing amount of cheese for depth and complexity without interfering with the garlic flavor.
- 9 - 10 medium cloves garlic (about the size of a plump cashew nut), skins left on
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 loaf Italian bread (high-quality); about 1 pound, football-shaped), halved lengthwise
- Ground black pepper
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Meanwhile, toast garlic cloves in small skillet over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally, until fragrant and color of cloves deepens slightly, about 8 minutes. When cool enough to handle, skin and mince cloves (you should have about 3 tablespoons). Using dinner fork, mash garlic, butter, cheese, and salt in small bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Spread cut sides of loaf evenly with garlic butter mixture; season to taste with pepper. Transfer loaf halves, buttered side up, onto baking sheet; bake, reversing position of baking sheet in oven from front to back halfway through baking time, until surface of bread is golden brown and toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cut each half into 2-inch slices; serve immediately.