You know you get crazy cravings for certain random foods? Usually from a place that is either far, far away or no longer open?
Crazy Bread from Little Caesar's (an American pizza chain) is one of my cravings from when I used to live in the States. Ever since I randomly found a copycat recipe a few weeks ago I've not been able to get them out of my mind. Soft, slightly chewy and laden with butter, garlic and parmesan...mmmmm....They were so good that my sister and I used to fight about who had the most breadsticks and mum had to intervene (I might add that we had the same fights about who had the biggest Yorkshire pudding...)
To start with, gently stir the yeast into the warm water and left for about 5 minutes.
While the magic happens with the yeast measure out the dry ingredients and put them in a mixing bowl. Next, add the oil to the yeast mixture and then if mixing my hand slowly add to the dry ingredients. I used the paddle attachment on my Kitchenaid to bring all of the ingredients together and then once it was doughy I stuck on the dough hook and mixed for another 5 minutes until the dough was all nicely mixed but still a little sticky. If you're kneading by hand just knead quite well until you get the same result. You want the dough to be just a little sticky but might need to add a little more flour.
Lightly oil a bowl, put the ball of dough in, cover with a damp tea towel or cloth and leave in a warm place for a minimum of 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface for another 5 minutes and then roll out to the size and shape you want (round is good!). Place on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray, cover again (I created a tea towel tent construction so the dough wouldn't stick to it) and let it rise again for about half an hour.
While the dough is finishing off, heat your oven to 220C.
Now it's time for the buttery sauce...crush a clove of garlic. Tip: add a little salt to the garlic on the chopping board and use the side of a knife blade to squash and rub the garlic so you get it nice and smooth!
Add the garlic to the butter and the olive oil then microwave in bursts of around 10 seconds until the butter has melted. You can let that sit for a little while to let all of the garlic flavours infuse.
There are a couple of things that people across the internet seem to feel strongly about - the first is whether the breadsticks get cut before they go in the oven and the second is whether they get brushed with butter before or after they bake. Not wanting to anger the internet, I'm going to try ALL of these options!
Breadsticks in stick form, one with butter mixture, 2 without....
Breadsticks in non-cut form, half with butter mixture, half without...
Bake until light golden brown, about 10 minutes, then sprinkle with either pecorino or parmesan (I used pecorino).
And here are the after shots...the uncut bit of dough doesn't deserve a picture because it came out of the oven looking a little like a bum which says it all for not cutting it up before it goes in the oven!
So....my conclusion is that they are best if cut before baked if you want a more Crazy Bread look...
...but of you cut them and brush them with the garlic butter after baking they are still really good looking and they both taste amazing!!
Dough (it'ss also excellent as pizza dough!)
225g plain flour
6oz warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2/3 tablespoon olive oil
And To Complete
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 tablespoon olive oil
Parmesan or pecorino cheese