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Classic American Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is best served piping hot, so time it to arrive at the table last, once all the other dishes are finished and ready to serve.

Serves 6 to 8

9 - 10 medium cloves garlic (about the size of a plump cashew nut), skins left on
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 loaf Italian bread (high-quality); about 1 pound, football-shaped), halved lengthwise
Ground black pepper

. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.
Meanwhile, toast garlic cloves in small skillet over medium heat, shaking
pan occasionally, until fragrant and color of cloves deepens slightly, about
8 minutes. When cool enough to handle, skin and mince cloves (you should
have about 3 tablespoons). Using dinner fork, mash garlic, butter, cheese,
and salt in small bowl until thoroughly combined.

2. Spread cut sides of loaf evenly with garlic butter mixture; season to
taste with pepper. Transfer loaf halves, buttered side up, onto baking
sheet; bake, reversing position of baking sheet in oven from front to back
halfway through baking time, until surface of bread is golden brown and
toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cut each half into 2-inch slices; serve