Recipe Review

I Tried Smitten Kitchen’s “Perfect” Garlic Bread, and It’s as Good as Promised

published Jan 25, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

Deb Perelman’s blog, Smitten Kitchen, is a trusted source of kitchen inspiration for so many home cooks — myself included. Even after almost 15 years of blogging, Deb still maintains her signature conversational tone that makes you feel like you’re getting a recipe from a friend, and I appreciate how she manages to make even the simplest dishes feel a little special.

Having tried, and loved, many recipes from the site, it was an easy decision to include Deb’s garlic bread recipe in our celebrity recipe showdown. She describes her “with the works” recipe as Carbone-style garlic bread, and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make Smitten Kitchen’s Perfect Garlic Bread

You’ll start by lining a baking sheet with foil, then splitting a seeded baguette in half lengthwise. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt until the garlic is sizzling. If you’re using the optional dried oregano, you’ll stir it in once you’ve removed the melted garlic butter from the stove.

Spoon the garlic butter mixture over the two halves of bread, trying to distribute it as evenly as possible. Top with a sprinkle of finely grated Parmesan and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the edges of the bread turn a beautiful golden-brown. Finish with chopped parsley and chives.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Smitten Kitchen’s Garlic Bread

Smitten Kitchen’s garlic bread was one of my favorites from the bunch. I had never tried garlic bread made with a seeded loaf before, and I thought it added really nice texture. The ratio of butter to garlic is perfect, and thanks to the addition of red pepper flakes and oregano, the garlic butter mixture is really delicious.

During all my garlic bread testing, I’ve learned that it’s hard to strike the perfect balance between a bread that’s soft enough that there’s still some chewiness to it, while also being toasted enough to give you some crunch. Because Deb’s bread is broiled, it definitely leans on the crunchier end of things — and honestly, it was a little too crunchy for my liking. That said, it would be great served with something like meatballs, where it could soften a bit as it soaks up all of the sauce. All in all, this is a really great-tasting garlic bread that I would absolutely make again.  

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Smitten Kitchen’s Garlic Bread, a Few Tips

  1. If you’ve got softened butter, use that instead. Both melted butter and softened butter work well here. If using the latter, simply mix the seasonings with the softened butter, spread the mixture onto both halves, and let the butter melt under the heat of the broiler.
  2. Any type of baguette will work. I found the perfect seeded baguette at a local bakery, but it required some major searching. If you can’t find one, don’t worry — you can use any type of baguette in its place.

Rating: 9/10

Have you ever made Smitten Kitchen’s garlic bread recipe? Tell us what you thought!

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk