GARLIC BREAD

by - 5:13 AM

Everybody loves warm bread when it arrives at the table, and when it has the scent
of garlic wafting from it, you know it has the Italian touch. The goal in making a
good garlic bread is to rub the bread with the crushed garlic clove, not to load it
with chopped garlic; remember, just the essence is enough to gratify your senses.
SERVES 4
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
12-inch loaf Italian bread without seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt for seasoning
Combine the olive oil and garlic in a small bowl, and steep about 30 minutes, to let the
flavors mingle.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Split the bread in half lengthwise, then cut in half
crosswise, to make four pieces. Set the pieces, cut side up, on a baking sheet, and brush
the bread with the flavored oil, rubbing with the garlic cloves and leaving them on top.
Sprinkle with the dried oregano.
Bake until the bread is golden and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove any large
garlic pieces, and lightly season the bread with salt before serving.
VARIATION: Garlic Bread Topped with Cheese (Pane Strofinato con Formaggio):
Substitute ¼ cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano for the oregano.
VARIATION: Garlic Bread Rubbed with Tomatoes (Pane Strofinato con Pomodoro): Cut
some ripe tomatoes in half crosswise. While the baked bread is still hot, rub cut surfaces
of the bread with the tomato halves, until the bread has absorbed the tomato juices, and
the tomato pulp has rubbed onto the bread. Season lightly with salt, drizzle some extravirgin
olive oil on top, and serve immediately.

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