When I am planning an ideal vacation I look for the words beach and massage. At an ice cream shop, the words are vanilla bean and waffle cone. The words that describe an ideal garlic bread? Well, that has surprisingly changed for me recently. You see, the words used to be butter, olive oil, and lots of garlic. But while garlic bread from scratch is easy to make and it takes 15 minutes tops, some nights the idea of melting butter and peeling garlic makes me want to quit dinner.
So now the words that come to mind are Trader Joe’s and deep-fried pizza. When I need a quick and easy garlicky bread to serve on pasta night, Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic and Pesto Pizza with Deep Fried Crust has become my family’s go-to garlic bread.
I'm not trying to fool you! Though it's pizza, technically not garlic bread, it has the same satisfying characteristics of the best garlic bread, plus more. It's just the right amount of garlicky and greasy. It also has four kinds of cheese: burrata, mozzarella, provolone, and Parmesan. The crust is crisp and chewy thanks to the Neapolitan method of deep frying the dough. According to Trader Joe's, the "dough matures and ferments for four days, over which time it is folded three times a day, and finally shaped by hand before being deep fried briefly in sunflower seed oil." Think of it as a zhuzhed up cheesy garlic bread with a fancy crust—for only $5.99 and large enough to feed my family of five as a side dish.
How Best to Bake the "Garlic Bread"
Let's break some rules: ignore the box instructions and pop the pizza into a cold oven. Then, set the oven temp to 425°F. You don't need to wait until the oven is fully preheated to add the pizza, errr I mean garlic bread. My oven takes about 15 minutes to preheat and the garlic bread is ready to come out five minutes after that. The edges become golden brown and the center puffs up, making it look like a triumphant cheesy pillow. Then, I cut it into squares, the perfect party cut for passing around the dinner table on pasta night.
Unless I'm baking cookies, cakes, breads, and pizza from scratch—foods that need a hot oven for those initial chemical reactions—I rarely preheat the oven. This saves me 15 to 20 minutes (that's how long it takes for my oven to preheat), which is a long time in the short scheme of busy weeknight dinners. In fact, the majority of my favorite Trader Joe's frozen meals go in the oven the moment I turn it on.