There is nothing like the smell of garlic roasting in your oven! Just try it and you'll see what I'm talking about. I love garlic. If you look, I usually increase the amount of garlic called for in any recipe I blog about, because what doesn't taste better with more garlic? :)
Sure, you can make garlic bread with garlic powder and other seasonings, but nothing beats true homemade garlic bread with roasted garlic! Roasting garlic, as you'll see from this recipe, is very very simple. The only way I imagine this recipe being better is if you made the loaf of bread yourself. For those Daring Bakers who plan on making Julia Child's French Bread again, this would be a great use for it :)
Oh, and the recipe doesn't state it - but I assume the butter needs to be at room temperature so that you can easily mix in the other ingredients and spread it onto the loaf. If you don't have time to let the butter come to room temperature, just pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds and that should make it soft enough to work with.
Roasted Garlic Bread
3 bulbs garlic (that's 3 whole bulbs, not cloves!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (1 pound) loaf Italian bread (I used French Bread)
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional) (I used 1 tsp dried parsley)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slice the tops off of the garlic bulbs so that the tip of each clove is exposed. Place the bulbs on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes, or until garlic is soft (I baked mine, wrapped in a foil packet, for 60 minutes).
Set the oven to broil. Slice the loaf of bread in half horizontally, and place cut side up on a baking sheet.
Squeeze the cloves of garlic from their skins into a medium bowl. Stir in the butter, parsley, and Parmesan cheese until well blended. Spread onto the cut sides of the bread.
Broil for about 5 minutes, until toasted. (Watch it closely, as it will go from perfectly golden brown to burnt very quickly!)