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What is a Garlic Baker?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2014
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A garlic baker is a piece of cookware which is designed to be used to bake garlic. In addition to being used in the oven, a garlic baker can also serve as a garlic keeper, for cooks who like to keep their garlic at room temperature in the kitchen. Many kitchen supply stores sell garlic bakers, and they can also be ordered from specialty purveyors. Creative potters might also want to try their hands at making a garlic baker.

When garlic is roasted, it brings out the natural sugars in the garlic bulbs and caramelizes them slightly. The result is much sweeter than raw garlic, with a chewy, dense texture. Many people enjoy baked garlic spread on bread, and roasted garlic can also be mixed into mashed potatoes, breads, dressings, and other foods for additional flavor. While it is certainly possible to roast garlic in other dishes, a garlic baker is specifically designed for the task.

There are two parts to a garlic baker. The bottom is a shallow dish which may be glazed or unglazed. The top is a large dome, which may be fancifully shaped like a head of garlic or left plain. To roast garlic, cooks rub off the outer papery layers of a head of garlic and then cut the top off, exposing some of the cloves of garlic. The garlic is placed inside the garlic baker and roasted in a hot oven for around an hour, until the individual cloves turn soft.

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The top of a garlic baker is usually soaked in water first, so that the garlic partly steams and partly bakes. The moisture keeps the garlic from drying out and turning tasteless. For a more varied flavor, some cooks drizzle garlic with olive oil and herbs before roasting. It is also usually possible to roast multiple heads of garlic in one garlic baker, or to roast other small vegetables as well.

If a garlic baker is not available, a clay pot can also be used quite effectively. A small covered roasting dish also works. However, you will need to pour a shallow layer of water into the dish to retain moisture through the baking process, since you have no porous terra cotta to soak. Once roasted, the garlic can be served hot directly out of the clay garlic baker or roasting dish, or it can be allowed to cool and gently squeezed to separate the cloves from the papery outer skin.

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SarahSon
Post 5

One of the simplest ways I enjoy fresh garlic is by roasting it and mixing it in with butter. Then I spread this on warm bread and it is wonderful for any pasta or Italian dish.

Sometimes I even sprinkle a little bit of cheese on the bread and put it in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.

I purchased a Norpro garlic baker at a kitchen specialty shop as I was looking for an easy way to roast garlic. This is a very inexpensive addition to my kitchen, but I absolutely love it.

Now I am constantly looking for new ways to add garlic to my recipes. Since both my husband and I love the taste of garlic, this is not hard to do, and a simple garlic baker makes it even easier.

bagley79
Post 4

I have always roasted garlic by wrapping it up in a piece of aluminum foil and putting it in the oven. I have been trying to add more fresh garlic to my recipes, and a garlic baker sounds like a wonderful solution.

It seems like I continually read about the large number of garlic benefits from regularly including this in my diet. Many times I take the easy way out and buy the crushed garlic that comes in a jar.

I figure this is better than not using any garlic at all, but know that roasting it provides a much fresher taste.

gravois
Post 3

When I went to Italy a few years ago I came back with a lovely terracotta garlic baker that is apparently pretty traditional in that area.

It is not very pretty or fancy but it works great and that is the important part. I didn't want something that I would just keep on my shelf. I wanted something that worked so I could recreate the flavors of Italy in my own kitchen. I use it at least once a month, usually more and the uses are endless. I would recommend that everyone start roasting garlic and just experimenting with all of its many uses. You will find a dish that you love before long.

whiteplane
Post 2

I have long believed in using garlic for its medicinal properties. I took garlic pills for a long time before I realized that I could probably make a garlic supplement in my own home. Now I use a garlic baker to bake up a handful of garlic bulbs each wee.

I have devised a recipe of my own for using them. I mash up two cloves and then I combine the paste with water, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. I can't claim that it is delicious but I am convinced that I am healthier for it. I have tons of energy, I sleep great and I rarely get sick. If I have to drink a slightly unpleasant drink to get all these benefits I'll keep it up.

chivebasil
Post 1

I absolutely love the flavor and aroma of roasted garlic. I love roasting some garlic when I am preparing a steak or other cut of beef and then serving the entire bulb on the sides of everyone's plate. They can use the soft garlic paste itself or just enjoy the aroma as it compliments the smell of the meat.

I also have a great recipe for a roasted garlic alfredo sauce. Its unlike any alfredo you've ever tried. Instead of being really rich and heavy it has the powerful and sweet flavor of garlic. It is a real hit with my family.

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