An old favourite turns up at the supermarket ... and it'll do if you're running late.

You couldn't go far in the 70s without running into a loaf of garlic bread. The idea of taking a store-bought French loaf, sometimes referred to in a cosmopolitan manner as a baguette, slicing it and smearing garlic and butter throughout, then giving it a quick heat in the oven took all our barbecues by storm. Well, it did in my house, anyway.

I initially picked this up in the supermarket fridge with an air of disdain at the thought of selecting a pre-made product such as this.

How long does it take, I thought to myself, to slice a bit of bread and put some garlic butter in it? So what is it made of?


Wheat flour


This is a standard ingredient for making bread.

Butter (18 per cent) (cream, water, salt)
Nice to see real butter used in here rather than some random hydrogenated oil. This adds a nice flavour.

This will be in the bread as a raising agent.

Garlic (1.5 per cent) [Preservatives (202,224)]
These are potassium sorbate (202) and potassium metabisulphite (224).

Not a lot of sugar in here at 0.7g per 23g slice.

Iodised salt
You'll get 130mg of sodium per 23g slice.

Wheat gluten
This will have been added to improve the texture of the bread.

Vegetable oil
Not sure why this is in here. Perhaps as a coating for the bread or to extend the butter mixture.


I doubt the amount of chopped parsley I found on this loaf would add much flavour but it looks nice.

Soy flour
This will be in here for texture.

Emulsifiers (471,481)
These are mono and diglycerides of fatty acids (471) which are produced from hydrogenated oil and sodium lactylate (481) which is a sodium salt.

This will be in here for flavouring.

Acidity regulator (263)
This is calcium acetate (263) which will help keep the pH of this product regular.

My recommendations

Most of the ingredients in here would be found in store-bought French bread. So if you're going to make garlic bread yourself with a loaf of bread from the supermarket you've already got the flours, yeast, water, salt, sugar and possibly emulsifiers.

So that leaves the butter, some oil, preservatives and a few additives.

I can guarantee that if you make it yourself, it will taste better and fresher, but if you're running late for a party you could take this without risk of polluting your friends with too many unnecessary additives.

I should point out that despite the Italian family-friendly packaging this product is made by Goodman Fielder, which makes many of our supermarket breads.

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