1 16-ounce loaf of Italian bread or French bread
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
1 heaping tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Method 1 - Toasted
1 Preheat oven to 350°F.
2 Cut the bread in half, horizontally. Mix the butter, garlic, and parsley together in a small bowl. Spread butter mixture over the the two bread halves. Place on a sturdy baking pan (one that can handle high temperatures, not a cookie sheet) and heat in the oven for 10 minutes.
3 Remove pan from oven. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over bread if you want. Return to oven on the highest rack. Broil on high heat for 2-3 minutes until the edges of the bread begin to toast and the cheese (if you are using cheese) bubbles. Watch very carefully while broiling. The bread can easily go from un-toasted to burnt.
4 Remove from oven, let cool a minute. Remove from pan and make 1-inch thick slices. Serve immediately.
Method 2 - Soft
Preheat oven to 350°F. Make the butter, garlic, parsley mixture as above. Make 1-inch thick slices into the bread, but do not go all the way through, just to the bottom crust. Put a teaspoon or two of the butter mixture between each slice. Wrap the bread in aluminum foil and heat for 15 minutes in the oven.