These garlic fingers are ridiculously easy to make and the results are absolutely delicious. We upped the ante with three types of melted cheese, minced fresh garlic, and top-notch bacon but this is the sort of recipe that could be brought together from on-hand ingredients.
As well as convenient it’s also easy. As in the type of project that three guys in their twenties who are well into their fourth or fifth beer could tackle around midnight. Also, more delicious, marginally healthier, and much cheaper than delivery pizza as part of a weeknight family meal.
At an hour from yeast starting to bloom to molten cheese burning the roof of your mouth, it’s lightning fast too. The three tools that make this possible are a relatively huge amount of yeast (Jim Lahey’s recipes use one-sixth the yeast to leaven a similar amount of flour), warm water, and omitting salt from the dough. Salt retards the action of yeast so if you’re in a hurry add it to the garlic butter and you’ll recoup some of the flavour loss. If you can afford an hour rising (instead of thirty minutes) put the salt in the dough.
Donair sauce is a classic of the Canadian Maritimes that is heavily adapted from the garlic sauce that goes with Turkish doner kebab. My significantly-other half* who is from PEI highly endorses this as down-east authentic
The sauce’s ingredients are even more likely to fit into that category of foodstuffs popular with the bomb shelter set. (Both sweetened, condensed and evaporated milk make an appearance.) Here again we’ve split the garlic duties between fresh and powdered but if the Russians do drop the bomb or you find yourself on a long-haul fishing expedition with a hankering for Halifax omit the fresh and add more powdered garlic.
Of course, the bacon isn’t absolutely necessary but it takes the cheesy garlic fingers from great to excellent.*My girlfriend’s self-chosen, if-you’re-going-to-mention-me-on-your-blog moniker. At least, I think that’s what she said she wanted.
Bacon 3-Cheese Garlic Fingers
Adapted from the recipe on grouprecipes.com.
Bacon Garlic Fingers topped with three cheeses and served with Halifax-style donair sauce are an East Coast classic and an easy-to-make family meal.
Prep time: 15 minutes Total time: 1 hour
Yield: Serves 2 to 4.
- 350g (2.5 to 3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 TB instant yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 250 ml (1 cup) water, noticeably warmer than body temperature (105°F or so)
- olive oil for greasing the bowl
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Garlic butter:
- 3 TB unsalted butter, melted
- 40 g (6 cloves) garlic, minced
- 100 g (about a 3-finger piece from a standard block) cheddar cheese, grated
- 100 g (see above) grocery store mozzarella, grated
- 20 g (a small knob) asiago cheese, finely grated
- 1/4 lb (6 strips or so) good bacon, fried shy of crispy
After heating the water add yeast and sugar and let bloom for ten minutes.
- If making the fast-rise version (one hour rise) add salt to flour in a large bowl and whisk. (If making super-fast version (30 minutes rise) add salt to the garlic butter.) Pour yeasty water into flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a clean surface (take this opportunity to clean the mixing bowl for use again in a moment), knead a couple times, and bring together in a ball.
Grease the clean mixing bowl with a thin film of olive oil. Place dough ball in ball and the bowl with a towel for the 30 or 60 minutes it will take the dough to rise.
- Preheat your oven to 425F. Set one rack in the middle of the oven, another two positions below your broiler.
Spray a round pizza pan (I have it on good authority that only party size garlic fingers are made in a rectangular tray) with non-stick spray.Dump risen dough onto tray and while spinning the pan with your non-dominant hand use the knuckles of your dominant hand to spread the dough evenly to the pan’s edges. Paint with garlic butter, sprinkle with cheese and top with bacon.
- Bake for 16 to 18 minutes. Once the cheese has started to bubble and the edges are golden brown move the garlic fingers under the broiler and broil (watched very closely) for two minutes. Serve with donair sauce.