Crostini—Italian for “little toasts”—are simply small slices of toasted or grilled bread, usually made with baguette or ciabatta, that make a perfect base for dips, spreads, cheeses, vegetables, or pâtés. We found that thin slices of baguette were the best choice for our crostini recipe. Baking the toasts for 10 minutes in a 400-degree oven turned them crisp enough to hold even hefty toppings, and rubbing the hot toasts with a raw garlic clove added just the right subtle garlicky flavor. Finally, brushing them with olive oil added richness and moisture. Arrange these little toasts next to a cheese platter or dip, or serve them alongside a soup, stew, or salad. Crostini taste best straight from the oven.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange bread in single layer on baking sheet. Bake bread until dry and crisp, about 10 minutes, flipping slices over halfway through baking. Rub garlic clove over 1 side of each piece of toasted bread, then brush with oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.