It’s no secret that I like garlic. Especially if it’s on pasta or bread. So, it was only a matter of time before I posted something about ciabatta garlic bread. Or, for search engine optimization purposes, about this “garlic ciabatta bread recipe“.
Why ciabatta? It’s very simple.
Ciabatta is an Italian type of bread with a soft inside, a crispy crust, a few tight holes throughout the loaf, and a slightly flattened shape. It can make an excellent bruschetta, as its slices are bigger than other rolls, and is generally perfect for any recipe with bread that involves baking. In this particular recipe, its qualities will help us get a garlic bread that’s crunchy, but with a more delicate heart of cheese and herbs.
I’m sure you’ll love it!
What you need
A whole loaf of ciabatta bread: it should be easy to find, it’s sold in most stores. If you don’t have any, you can go with a French baguette.
Unsalted butter: from your local grocery store. Using unsalted butter will allow you to have more control on how salty your garlic bread will be. However, feel free to use any type of butter you like, as long as it’s good.
Two garlic cloves: as usual, don’t use dry garlic powder. Get the real thing.
Chopped parsley leaves: for the pictures in this post, I used a mixture of chopped garlic and parsley that I had precedently frozen for another recipe. I don’t like wasting leftovers. Anyway, if you have fresh parsley, go with it. Also, if you have other fresh herbs that you like, feel free to add them as well. Some people also add a sprinkle of ground black pepper, or red crushed peppers. If you like them, you might want to try using one or two teaspoons of our spicy Italian seasoning.
A pinch of fine salt: Kosher salt will do just fine. But if you like to experiment and have time for another recipe, try making some red wine flavored salt, then crush it to make it more sandy and use it for this garlic bread. It’s very aromatic!
Grated parmesan cheese (optional): What’s better than something made with a dairy product? Something made with more dairy products! Add a couple tablespoons of grated parmesan to get a proper cheesy topping.
Extra-virgin olive oil (optional): you can pour a drizzle of oil on the butter mix to make it smoother. Just don’t overdo it.
As usual, all the proper amounts are listed in the recipe card below.
First of all, if you were storing your ingredients in the fridge, give them time to reach room temperature. This way, the butter will be easier to soften.
Step 1: Let’s start from the garlic butter mixture. In a small bowl, mix the butter with the chopped garlic, parsley and parmesan cheese. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350° F.
Step 2: Using a serrated knife, cut the ciabatta roll into 1-inch thick slices – but don’t cut them all the way through! Leave them attached to each other, as if the loaf was some kind of accordion. That way, after baking, the inside of the bread will remain slightly softer than the crust.
If you like your garlic bread to be crunchy instead, just cut the loaf horizontally, spread the butter mixture on the bottom half, bring the two sides together, and skip straight to step 4.
Step 3: Spread the butter, parsley and garlic mixture on every slice of bread.
Step 4: Roll the ciabatta bread into an aluminum foil, place it on a sheet pan, and put it in the oven. The average cooking time is 20-25 minutes.
After the baking time has passed, take your homemade garlic bread out of the oven and serve it hot.
What to serve with ciabatta garlic bread?
The first food I associate with garlic bread is stir-fried spinach. Put them together, and you have a simple yet delicious mid-week dinner.
Anyway, garlic bread is also the perfect side dish for any soup or puree. It’s also very good with grains. Today I’ve had it with lentils, but I think it would also be awesome with a farro risotto.
You could also serve it as an appetizer before a main pasta dish.
If you’re having wine on the table, try a red Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or a Lacryma Cristi.
How to store it: can I freeze ciabatta garlic bread?
Yes, you can freeze it for up to 3 month. Just follow the recipe until step 3, then cover it in plastic wrap and put it in a freezer-safe bag. When you want to use it, put the slices on a lined baking sheet and reheat at 350° F until it becomes hot and crispy again.
If, instead, you’re finding yourself with some leftover garlic bread, you can simply keep it in the fridge for 3-5 days. Again, cover it with plastic wrap for best results: that way, it will dry out less fast, and keep its fragrance for longer. When you want to finish it, just pop it back in the oven for about 15 minutes.
If you want to know more about how to store garlic bread, here’s a more detailed article.
This crispy homemade garlic bread recipe is perfect for any meal, any day of the week. Serve it as an appetizer for your Sunday lunch, or eat it with spinach on a Wednesday evening. Either way, I know you’ll love it.Print