garlic fingers garlic fingers

A Guide to Making the Perfect Garlic Fingers

If you’ve eaten garlic bread before, you must have enjoyed it. Now imagine that, but way better. Attempt to fathom a bed of pizza dough so soft; it’s like biting into clouds being smothered in melted butter and lots of mozzarella cheese and then baked just right to make it perfect for consumption.

How does that sound? Yummy right? Well, not only does garlic fingers taste great, but the aroma is amazing as well. If heaven and success were two entities trying to create something truly mouthwatering, they’d probably come up with garlic fingers.

1. What are Garlic Fingers?

Garlic fingers are similar to garlic bread, except they’re topped with cheese and sometimes cut into triangular slices or sticks for easy access to various dipping sauces. They’re commonly found on the east coast of Canada, particularly Nova Scotia.

2. The Significance of Garlic Fingers in East Coast Cuisine

The East Coast loves garlic fingers more than Americans love freedom (Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration). You can find them almost anywhere there, but most likely at any local eatery or pizzeria.

The ingredients are simple: pizza dough, cheese, butter/garlic mix and donair sauce if you want to get fancy. But what brings it all together is the love put into making them.

How to Make Garlic Fingers with Donair Sauce

3. Ingredients and Preparation

As I mentioned before, the ingredients are simply pizza dough, lots of cheese, and a good garlic salt/butter mix.

  • Let’s start with the dough: You want fresh, hand-stretched pizza dough.
  • Next, you’ll need a homemade garlic butter mix consisting of minced garlic cloves, unsalted melted butter and some herbs.
garlic fingers
Lots of minced garlic for tasty garlic fingers. Source: Pexels
  • Next, spread your lovely mixture across your dough.
  • After that, ensure you have plenty of shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan on deck.
  • Cook until golden brown and serve with donair sauce on the side if desired

The foundation of any good garlic finger is the dough. You can purchase pre-made pizza dough or make your dough for a more homemade taste. The key is to have enough dough to create a base that is neither too thick nor too thin.

It allows it to cook evenly in the oven. Ensure the dough reaches room temperature before stretching, preventing shrinkage in a hot oven and resulting in an evenly baked, soft, chewy texture.

4. Preparing and Handling Pizza Dough

Handling pizza dough requires a gentle touch. Start by flouring your surface and hands to prevent sticking. Roll out the dough to your desired thickness, then transfer it to an oiled sheet pan or pizza stone. If using a pizza pan, ensure it’s been lightly greased with cooking oil to avoid sticking.

A soft pizza dough makes great garlic fingers. Source: Freepik

4.1 Spreading Garlic Butter and Garlic Powder

Melted butter is mixed with fresh garlic or garlic powder to create a flavorful spread. Brush this mixture generously over the surface of the dough, ensuring an even coat. The garlic butter adds flavour and helps achieve a golden brown crust. Adding a pinch of sea salt to the spread can enhance the flavours, as does a sprinkle of dried Italian herbs.

4.2 Arranging Mozzarella Cheese

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the dough, covering the garlic butter layer. The cheese should be evenly distributed to fill each bite with cheesy goodness.

Feel free to add more shredded cheese if your garlic fingers are cheesy. Some opt for a cheese blend, including cheddar, for a deeper flavour profile and a visually appealing melted cheese mixture.

4.3 Cooking Process

The magic happens in the cooking process! Turning basic ingredients into a mouthwatering dish. Put your garlic fingers in the preheated oven and bake until the crust is cooked and the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

4.4 Baking the Garlic Fingers

Heat your oven to a hot temperature so it cooks quickly. Place your prepared garlic fingers on the middle rack to ensure they bake evenly. Keep checking on them in case of burning. Edges should be crispy and golden, and cheese should be fully melted when done.

4.5 Preheating the Oven and Placing the Garlic Fingers

Before baking, turn up that heat to get it nice and hot. A preheated oven ensures you start as soon as it goes in, giving it a nice crispy bottom. Place your fingers on the middle rack or pizza stone if necessary for optimal heat.

4.6 Achieving that Golden Brown Finish

Keep an eye out for that golden brown finish with bubbling cheese as they go. Refuse to overcook them, but there’s no exact time, only an estimate in minutes. Take them out when the edges are crispy and golden and the cheese fully melts. Turn after halfway so you don’t get any dark spots or undercooked sides.

5. Dipping Sauces and Additional Toppings

Dips are essential to everything. They add flavour without being too overpowering. Place some traditional donair sauce beside it with its sweet touch and garlic aroma, and then try marinara or ranch. As long as everyone’s enjoying their creation, there’s no wrong choice.

5.1 Making Donair Sauce

You’ll need a lot of sweet condensed milk, white vinegar and garlic powder. Follow along, whisking all three together until completely mixed. You want a thick, creamy sauce that adds a perfect taste to those salty fingers.

5.1.1 Mixing Sweet Condensed Milk, Vinegar and Garlic Powder

A good amount of sweet condensed milk is combined with vinegar and then thrown into garlic powder. The acid in vinegar will thicken the sweetened condensed milk, preparing it to dip!

5.2 Preparing Marinara Sauce for Dipping

For those who prefer savoury, you’ll love the marinara sauce recipe. Start by heating tomato sauce with olive oil, garlic and herbs over medium heat. Keep stirring as you wait for them to warm and become fragrant.

5.3 Serving and Presentation

After the presentation and serving, the garlic finger journey is complete. Put your homemade garlic fingers on a plate, then garnish them with fresh parsley before they get served alongside dipping sauces. Enjoy!

5.4 Slicing and Serving Garlic Fingers

Once cooled down enough, cut each finger into thin strips or triangular slices. Positioning them on a platter gives that neat look everyone loves when eating. It’s almost like the owner knows what they’re doing.

6. Presenting Garlic Fingers with Dipping Sauces

Pour all your chosen dips into small bowls next to your garlic fingers. This way, guests can have their pick at it. Decorate each bowl with onions or parsley as toppings to add flavour, making things look pretty.

7. Final Thoughts on Serving Garlic Fingers

Try making garlic fingers! These are the perfect side dishes to pair with many meals; they always deliver. You can have them on their own with a salad or even go all out and put them beside some wings, pizza fries, or sliders — the choice is yours.

I recommend choosing your favourite greens, such as mixed lettuce, spinach, or arugula, for those who love a refreshing salad. After that, add in some sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion for freshness and crunch. All you need is olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper for dressing. It’s as simple as that!

If you want something more hefty, consider serving garlic fingers alongside wings or sliders. These are two different approaches, but either one will leave you satisfied, guaranteed. Just know that if I made it, I’d toss the wings in any sauce to give it that extra pop.

No matter how you serve these bad boys, they will be delicious. And when are they combined with your favourite dipping sauce? Chef’sChef’s kiss, Perfecto! So don’t hesitate if someone asks if they could bring anything to dinner next time. Just tell them to get some dipping sauce.

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