Back in the day, The Strongman and I lived in married student housing at the University of Utah. Those were the “salad days.” There was a local pizza joint called the Pi that catered to the college scene. We ate there fortnightly. (I don’t actually know what fortnightly means, but we ate there a lot.)
They had two menu items that were irresistible. The first was there version of a calzone, called a Zappi. And the second was a cousin of the pizza they called cheese pull-aparts. Think pizza, but without the sauce. They added garlic in there somehow and served them with a side of ranch and marinara dipping sauces.
We practically lived on pull-aparts. After we graduated and moved away, but before we had kids, we would sneak back up there and get take-out. But once we had kids, driving 40 minutes for pizza became pretty impossible. So I had to learn to recreate this at home. And it turns out the kids love it as well! We passed down some decent taste, I guess.
And seriously, doesn’t this picture just make your mouth water? It does mine!
So let’s get to it.
First you will need a pizza dough. You can use this recipe for pizza dough or sometimes I will grab a bag of pre-made pizza dough from my grocery store if I don’t have enough time to make my pizza dough recipe (which you must make a day ahead of time.) You will use about half of my recipe. It will depend on the size of your store bought pizza dough, how much you use.
Pre heat your oven to 500 or as hot as it will go. Ideally you have a pizza stone. If you don’t, can I convince you to buy one? Seriously, I can’t live without mine. The stone will give you the closest thing to a pizza oven. Your oven needs to preheat for a least an hour for best results. This gives enough time to get that stone super duper toasty. (In the summer use your grill. Yet another post!) If I can’t convince you, then just use the back of a sheet pan (but don’t put it in the oven while it’s heating up.)
Mince finely about 4 cloves of garlic, about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons (depending on how much you like garlic.)
Add about 2 tablespoons of very soft butter.
Mix it together until the butter and garlic are one. (Very zen, I know.)
Stretch or roll out your dough. I like mine to be thin. You can choose how you like yours. Place your dough on a couple pieces of parchment paper. If you don’t have a pizza peel, put the parchment on the back of sheet pan. The parchment will help you transfer it to the oven.
Spread the butter/ garlic mixture over the dough.
Sprinkle with cheese. I love the combination of mozzarella and Parmesan, it gives delicious results. But if you only have mozarella, it’s okay.
When it’s all good and covered. Carefully, slide it into that crazy hot oven (hopefully on top of your pizza stone.)
Pull it out when the cheese is nice and toasty. About 8- 10 minutes.
Let it cool about 5 minutes before you try to cut it. Cut it into strips. And serve with your favorite marinara and ranch dressings, if you like.
Recipe Source: This recipe helped me to figure out the garlic component