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A very easy, well-loved recipe. The garlic butter can be made in batches and kept in the freezer.
Heat the oven to 180?C/350?F/Gas Mark 4.
Thickly slice the loaf, on the diagonal, cutting down almost but not quite through the crust.
To make the garlic butter, mix the soft butter with the crushed garlic, salt and parsley (the butter can also be made in a processor: put the butter, whole garlic cloves, salt and the sprigs of a small bunch of parsley into the bowl and process until the parsley is finely chopped).
Spread the butter onto the cut sides of the bread slices and reform the loaf. Wrap in foil.
The loaf can be kept in a cool spot (not the fridge) for several hours. Set the loaf on a baking sheet and bake in heated oven for about 10 minutes until piping hot. Carefully open and serve while hot.