I've usually made garlic bread by pouring over the bread with special garlic bread powder over spread butter. This works, but is there any way to make the garlic sauce/powder on your own?
I find garlic powder to be kind of meh when making garlic bread. I suggest using fresh garlic that is finely minced that has been mixed with softened butter. You simply spread it on, cook, and enjoy.
Here is a recipe demonstrating this technique (I have not used the recipe):
For quick & easy garlic bread, I'll toast the bread first, and then scrub a clove of garlic over it, finishing with butter or oil.
Very little prep or cleanup, and a bright, intense flavor... Be careful not to rub off too much garlic on each slice (unless of course you're very fond of garlic).
This is probably relatively unconventional and a completely different technique than you described altogether, but it answers the question in the title :)
When I'm making a stovetop dinner and don't feel like heating the oven/toaster oven/grill/broiler, I'll often melt some butter into a pan, throw some (fresh) garlic and spices in, give it a minute, throw the bread in, and crisp the bread up right in the pan in the butter. Quick and easy!
This would be a good application for a compound butter. Start by roasting a head of garlic. Mix the garlic mush with softened butter (and any other spices you want, such as salt and finely chopped parsley) and re-chill. Use as a finishing butter as well as for the bread.
A few different techniques that I use, depending on what I have on hand, how many I'm cooking for, and what sort of time constraints I'm dealing with.
Slice bread, grill under the broiler 'til toasted, then rub with a whole garlic clove.
Slice bread, grill the bread under the broiler 'til toasted, then spread with roasted garlic.
Slice bread, grill the bread under the broiler 'til toasted, then drizzle with olive oil (okay, I use a pump sprayer), and lightly sprinkle with garlic powder. (I've done this one I've done with sandwich bread, too ... you typically need a firmer bread for the first two, though)
split the loaf, spread with pesto (may need to thin first with extra olive oil), close back up, wrap in foil, and bake.
You have a few other options than your specialty powder:
- Look at the ingredients on your garlic bread powder. They probably include at least garlic powder and salt. You can make your own "garlic bread powder" by mixing these spices and then sprinkling them over your dish. Garlic powder is going to be more versatile then a special purpose mix. For example, garlic powder is a key component in many spice rubs for meat.
- Instead of using powder, finely mince some garlic itself. Heat oil until just warm and add minced garlic. Let sit for a while to infuse. Strain out garlic, pour over toasted bread.
- Add a small amount of finely minced garlic to melted butter. Spread over toasted bread. Less garlic is definitely more here.
You asked if you can make your own garlic powder. The answer is yes. Completely dehydrate some garlic (a dehydrator would be useful here) and crush it with a mortal and pestle or in a food processor.
Raw garlic can be over powering and have a odd after taste and although I have just minced garlic and butter together for garlic bread I've found the garlic doesn't cook.
Instead if you have time I'd recommend roasting the garlic first and add the cooked content to the butter, or gently frying the garlic.
Finely chopped parsley is good to add at the end too!
You can use crushed garlic instead. Mince a clove or two of garlic and then crush it with either the flat of your knife or the back of a spoon.
This is unrelated to replicating garlic powder, but topping the bread with mozzarella cheese and various Italian spices is also delicious :)