Crazy Talk

For all my pontificating about good pizza, we are still guilty of grabbing the occasional $5 Hot-N-Ready from Little Caesars. We thought we had finally broken free of their greasy grasp—until a new "Pizza! Pizza!" location opened not far from our house last summer. The clincher is that this location has dropped all pretenses and included a drive-thru window. So not only is there a cheap, mediocre pizza beckoning us every time we are having trouble deciding on dinner, we don't even have to get out of the car to pick it up.

Inexpensive convenience is one thing, but the real reason I have had trouble shaking this dirty habit is crazy bread. I have little doubt that I could pound down an entire order of these garlic butter-soaked sticks by myself if Kristen and Eddie weren't willing to carry their weight, so to speak.

While poking around for breadstick recipes online yesterday afternoon, I happened upon the "top secret" formula for crazy bread. I was rather surprised how simple it was. I'm not sure what I was expecting—it's not like crazy bread is the pinnacle of culinary arts or anything.

• Pizza dough
• 2 tbsp butter
• 1/2 tsp garlic salt
• Parmesan cheese

I just happened to have some homemade pizza dough in the fridge, but most recipes I looked at said to use a 10 oz. tube of Pillsbury pizza dough. I rolled my dough out into an oval shape, cut it into strips, then let them rise for about 45 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 450 F. Place the strips on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes. While the dough is baking, melt the butter and add the garlic salt, stirring until dissolved. Remove the baked strips from the oven and brush with garlic butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve with dipping sauce if desired.

They turned out remarkably similar to the real thing. The mixture of butter, garlic, and parmesan was unmistakable. The bread itself came out soft and fluffy, but not overly chewy like crazy bread is known to become after sitting under a heat lamp for too long. Maybe now I can finally kick this habit for good.


Ike said...

Little Caesars is surprisingly very good pizza if eaten while still piping hot. Sometimes we'll get a pizza and it will be half gone before we get home to eat it.

Now if you let it get cold... Worst. Pizza. Ever.

Christie said...

mmm.. hot & ready. I do love crazy bread.. cant' wait to try my own at home.

Dave said...

A quick update:

I picked up a tube of pizza dough on my way home last night to see how well that worked. It more closely resembled real crazy bread than my homemade pizza dough, but like all dough that comes in a tube, it had a distinct tinny taste. Plus, the tubes cost between $1.50 and $2 depending on the brand. If you are going to spend $2, you might as well just go buy the real thing. I'd say using homemade dough is definitely the way to go.

robmba said...

Little Caesars' meat lover pizza is actually pretty good, but since they undersell themselves with the hot-n-readys, I've only had it once or twice.

A simple way to upgrade the hot-n-ready is to ask for it with Crazy Crust. They will then put the garlic butter and parmesan on top of the pizza. I highly recommend it.

Christie said...

Wow, Rob.. I never knew there was so much depth to pizza pizza.