crispy and easy garlic bread

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened - at room temp 
  • coarse salt
  • 1 loaf of italian bread (or your favorite crusty bread), halved lengthwise  
Note:  When I'm feeding my family, I only use 1/2 a loaf of bread.  I save the other half for the next night as well as half the garlic butter.  I just refrigerate the butter till the next day and take it out about an hour before I bake the bread to make it easier to spread.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel the garlic cloves.  Fill a small pan with water and bring it to a boil.  Add the garlic cloves to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.  
Note: Boiling the garlic helps to soften it, so it's easier to chop.

Remove the garlic cloves with a slotted spoon, and finely chop.

In a small bowl, mix the chopped garlic with the butter and season to taste with coarse salt.

Spread the butter mixture on cut sides of bread. 

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Sandwich both halves together and bake until the bread is crusty and the butter has melted, about 10 minutes.

Slice it up and serve it up alongside your favorite pasta.  Throw on some fresh parsley for some color if you wish.

Tip:  I place a cutting board on the bottom of my sink and slice the bread there so I don't get crumbs everywhere.  I know I'm a bit anal, but it's nice not to be stepping on crumbs for the next week.