My Canadiana: The Savory Version

Last month I participated in Sugar High Friday, the monthly blogger event where people from around the globe post up some sugary treat or another, based on a theme.  This month’s theme?  Mmm… Canada!  And to make things even more fun, they added a savory edition this month, hosted by Jasmine at Confessions of a Cardamom Addict. With a theme like that, how could I not participate?

Garlic FingersI had some trouble deciding exactly what I wanted to do this time around.  Usually you have to bake or cook something yourself, but because the theme isn’t ingredient-based, they allowed entries to be about anything food related, as long as it says ‘Mmm… Canada!’ to you.  Then today it hit me – why not make some of my old Maritime favourites, the stuff I can’t find here in Ontario?

When I moved to Ottawa back in 1997, I was shocked to find that no one seemed to know what a garlic finger was.  Garlic bread, garlic cheese sticks, and various other garlic-and-dough-concoctions were easy to find, but my old childhood favourite was not. When I relayed this information to my high school friends still living in Nova Scotia, they were shocked.  “How can you live without garlic fingers?” they asked, eyes wide, as if I were saying Ottawa had no water.

What’s so special about these garlic fingers as compared to other garlic-dough recipes?  Well, they’re essentially garlic bread pizza: pizza dough, garlic butter, mozzarella, and sometimes bacon bits.  Dipped into donair sauce (not to be confused with doner sauce).  We’d usually order them from one of our favourite pizza places on a Friday night and eat them while watching some silly movie.

These days most Canadians can find garlic fingers in the freezer section next to the pizzas.  McCain, a well-known Maritime food company, now produces them and sells them outside the Maritimes.  Even so, the frozen ones are just not the same, and they don’t come with any donair sauce. So when I get a craving for these, I just make my own.

Garlic Fingers:

Pizza dough to make one large pizza (recipe below if you need one!)
1/4 cup garlic butter
1/2 cup to 1 cup mozzarella cheese (depends on how cheesy you like them; I used 1 cup)

Prepare dough as needed. When ready to bake, spread out on a pizza stone or round pizza pan.  Cover with garlic butter and top with cheese.  Bake in 425F oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is browned.  Then put under the broiler for 2-5 minutes to brown the cheese.  Watch carefully, as it browns quickly!  Cut into fingers and eat dipped in donair sauce.

Garlic Fingers and SauceDonair Sauce:

2/3 cup canned sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and stir well until fully combined.  Makes a thick, sweet, garlicky sauce.

Pizza Dough:

1 cup warm water
1 tbsp quick rise yeast
1 tsp sugar
2.5 – 3 cups all purpose flour
olive oil for the bowl

Put water into a large bowl and sprinkle in sugar, then add yeast.  Allow to sit 10 minutes so yeast can start to bloom.

Mix in 2.5 to 3 cups flour, until dough has a smooth, even texture and is no longer sticky.  Cover with a bit of olive oil and then leave in a warm place to rise, about 30 minutes or until the dough doubles in volume.  Dough is then ready to use as needed.  This is enough for one thick crust pizza or two thin crust pizzas.  For garlic fingers, I recommend you use the whole thing on a single pan.

Tomorrow: another Maritime treat, but this time, a sweet one!

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