Yes! A garlic bread that can go both ways: either make-ahead because you are organized and responsible or make last-minute because oh my gosh people are coming over when??
So many meals are improved by the addition of a warm, buttery garlic bread. This is a garlic bread that you can assemble and bake in under 25 minutes. OR you can get it ready to go in your baking dish and refrigerate/freeze until you need it.
It is so, so good for holiday meals, last-minute company, or days you just feel like you need more crisp, buttery bread in your life.
I love that this uses cold butter! Putting butter out to soften isn't hard, it just takes planning and mental energy and sometimes people do not have those things to expend on butter.
Plus, the combination of garlic powder and fresh garlic give this just the right amount of garlic flavor. If you assemble ahead, it will intensify!
Let's talk about how easy this is. It's sort of like making a bread casserole. The idea is to make an even layer of butter on the bottom of your pan for the bread to cook in (along with fresh garlic and garlic powder).
First you take butter and slice it up. Then put the butter pads in a baking dish. Then sprinkle with crushed fresh garlic cloves and some garlic powder.
Then slice up a baguette and place slices in a single layer in your baking dish. Cover with foil and either refrigerate or freeze to bake later, or bake immediately.
Toss the whole baking dish - still covered in foil - in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. The butter will melt and the bread bottoms will start to crisp. Flip the bread slices so the unbuttered sides have a turn to sit in the melted butter. Continue baking - uncovered - another 10 minutes. And that's it! The easiest garlic bread with so much fresh garlic flavor!
And butter + good bread is truly one of the best combinations.
What size dish should I bake this in?
The printable recipe says a 9x13-inch glass baking dish, BUT, there is some wiggle room here. The size is important because you need the dish to be big enough to fit all the sliced bread in a single layer, but not so big that the butter runs all over as it melts. The bread needs to sit directly in the butter to soak it all up! I would imagine you could go slightly larger or smaller with no issue. If you're using a metal baking dish, be sure to reduce the cook time slightly.
What else can I put on garlic bread?
If you want to make homemade garlic bread even more special, you can kick it up a notch by sprinkling the baked slices with shredded parmesan, chopped Italian parsley, or crushed red pepper flakes.
Do I have to use salted butter?
No! This is very possibly the only recipe on this entire website that calls for salted butter. And how annoying of me to switch butters on you this late in the game! Salted butter has the perfect amount of salt for this. If you want to use unsalted butter, just sprinkle the baked garlic bread with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Make-Ahead or Last-Minute Garlic Bread
- 1 (12 ounce) baguette, sliced into 1-inch thick slices
- 6 tablespoons salted butter, sliced into thin pads
- 8 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Place pads of butter in a single layer in a 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed garlic and garlic powder. Place bread slices on top in a single layer, sliced sides down. Cover with foil. From this point, you may bake immediately, refrigerate, or freeze.IF BAKING IMMEDIATELY OR FROM THE FRIDGE: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake - covered - for 12 minutes. Uncover, flip bread slices, and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until your desired crispiness. Serve warm.IF BAKING FROM FROZEN: Place covered pan in a 400 degree oven. Bake 20 minutes. Uncover, flip bread slices, and bake an additional 10 minutes - or until bread is your desired crispiness. Serve warm.