Garlic Fingers

As anyone who's ever been to university knows pizza is a way of life for many students. I have to admit I've not let that go. I LOVE PIZZA! My all-time favourite pizza came from a tiny hole-in-the-wall joint just 2km from where I grew up in Ottawa: San Marino Pizza. Best pizza you will ever eat. Gorgeous dough, all the toppings UNDER the cheese, and the best crust on the cheese ever. I have found many good pizza recipes for home (one of which I'm about to share with you) but I've yet to recreate the awesomeness that is San Marino pizza.

 Not San Marino pizza but boy was this one delicious! Very little beats a margherita.

Not San Marino pizza but boy was this one delicious! Very little beats a margherita.

I spent my university days at Mount Allison University (MTA) in Sackville, NB which means I spent most of those days at Joey's Pizzeria. But pizza is not all I ate at Joey's. I have to say that more than half my time was spent eating garlic fingers. You don't know what those are? Well then you are missing out!! Garlic fingers are just like pizza only better!! Yes, I said it. Garlic fingers > pizza. You may disagree with me, and in a few cases (like a classic, thin crust margherita, or that pizza from San Marino I told you about) you'd be right. But at home, if given the choice, I will almost always choose garlic fingers. Cheesy, garlicy, crusty... how could you not choose them!

Take your favourite pizza dough (I've included mine below), spread on some garlic butter, top with oodles of mozzarella, and bake until golden, melted, and crusty! You will thank me when you make this. Believe me!

The recipe I'm giving you yields 3 12" pizzas (or so). If you don't need all 3 balls right away you can coat in oil, place in a zip top bag, and freeze. Or you can coat in oil, place in a zip top bag, and refrigerate overnight then use to make focaccia.

Garlic Fingers

5 C all-purpose flour
1 packet active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 C warm water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
1-2 tbsp garlic butter, melted* 
1-2 C mozzarella, grated (however much you like on your pizzas)

Place a baking stone, or overturned baking sheet, in a cold oven and heat oven to 450F.

In a small bowl combine the 1/2 C water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit until foamed up.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine the rest of the water, oil and salt. Mix in 4 C flour and the yeast mixture. Remaining 1 C of flour may not be needed, gradually add until dough comes together into a ball. (I usually do 4 C in the mixer and then dump out onto a well floured board to kneed, using the remaining cup as needed to get the right consistency).

Once your dough comes together divide into 3 and place on an oiled, or well floured surface, and cover with a towel to rest for 30 mins before using. 

When you're ready, roll/stretch out one ball of dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Brush with melted garlic butter and top with as much or as little grated mozzarella as you'd like.

Use a baking sheet, or cutting board, to help you transfer the parchment paper, with pizza, onto the preheated baking stone. Bake for 10-20mins, or until puffed, golden brown and nicely melted.

Remove to a cutting board and allow to rest for a couple of minutes before you slice and enjoy!

*feel free to use store-bought garlic butter as I do, but if you don't have any you can easily make your own: Bobby Flay's garlic butter

As always, I want to see what you've been baking so be sure to tag your Instagram photos with #ragebake