Crazy Bread with Marinara Sauce

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Add a little kick to this homemade version of Little Caesar’s “Crazy Bread” by sprinkling on a little chile flake before dunking in hot marinara.

Test kitchen director Farideh Sadeghin grew up eating Little Caesar’s pizza with her family and friends, and was particularly fond of the crazy bread on the menu, thus inspiring her to make this homemade version. She loves to sprinkle it with chile flakes before dipping it in hot marinara sauce.

Serves 2 – 4

2 cups flour
1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 cup water, heated to 115°
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Classic Marinara sauce, for dipping*


[1] Whisk flour and salt in a bowl; stir water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. With the motor running, slowly add dry ingredients; beat until dough is smooth. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

[2] Heat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with greased parchment paper; pat dough into a 14” oval, about 1⁄3” thick. Using a pizza cutter, slice dough crosswise into 1 1⁄2” strips; brush with half the butter and sprinkle with half the parmesan. Bake until golden, 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with remaining butter; sprinkle with remaining parmesan and salt, to taste.

* Classic Marinara Sauce

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
7 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
Small dried whole chile, or pinch
crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 large fresh basil sprig, or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
or more to taste


[1] Pour tomatoes into a large bowl and crush with your hands. Pour 1 cup water into can and slosh it around to get tomato juices. Reserve.

[2] In a large skillet (do not use a deep pot) over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add garlic.

[3] s soon as garlic is sizzling (do not let it brown), add the tomatoes, then the reserved tomato water. Add whole chile or red pepper flakes, oregano (if using) and salt. Stir.

[4] Place basil sprig, including stem, on the surface (like a flower). Let it wilt, then submerge in sauce. Simmer sauce until thickened and oil on surface is a deep orange, about 15 minutes. (If using oregano, taste sauce after 10 minutes of simmering, adding more salt and oregano as needed.) Discard basil and chile (if using).