I don’t want to say that Tuesdays were the highlight of my college years, because obviously there are better days than Tuesdays. But Tuesdays were the days you could call up Gumby’s Pizza and Buy 1, Get 1 Pokey Stix, a deal called “Stick it to me Tuesday.” I don’t want to say that this is the worst thing we ever did to our bodies, but… it ranks up there.
What are Pokey Stix? Pokey Stix are pizza without the sauce, basically cheesy garlic bread cut into dunking strips. It is college food to the max to the extreme. If you were lucky enough to have a Gumby’s franchise in your area, they would even come deliver to you at 3 AM, not that we ever did any such thing.
Here’s a picture from their website:
You also had the option of dipping sauces for an extra $0.50. Garlic butter (the best), a slightly warmed Ken’s Ranch Dressing (also amazing, probably because it was warm/gross), and Marinara (no, thank you).
As you can probably guess, I have never stopped thinking about Pokey Stix, and every time I’m back in the Champaign-Urbana area, I am never allowed to order them. “You know those are horrible, right?” my significant other asked me, the last time I was there. “We are not ordering those.”
Glorified romanticizing notwithstanding, once upon a time thought that I could maybe raise funds to open up my own Gumby’s franchise in Urbana (up-front capital required: $80K, for those wondering) and hire an out-of-this-world general manager who would make it so that whenever I walked through the door, I would immediately be handed a Medium Pokey Stix with Garlic Butter and Ranch dipping sauces and a large Diet Coke.
Dreams. You gotta have dreams.
Anyway, let’s cut the babbling and get to the recipe portion of this blog post.
I was coming off an intensive 20 minute Google search for a decent Pokey Stix recipe, knowing full well that I was probably going to gussy it up like crazy anyway. I thought of the main components: cheese, more cheese, butter, garlic, oregano, and pizza dough. Done. So easy.
I’m going to apologize in advance for the bad white balance in these photos. And the giant black spot on my sensor. And the low light in general. I’m working on it.
Your ingredients, scattered about delightfully. Discover that your garlic powder has chunked up into giant rocks, discard and tell yourself that real garlic will be better anyway.
PIZZA DOUGH INGREDIENTS:
GARLIC-CHEESE TOPPING INGREDIENTS:
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1/8 cup of sour cream
- 1/2 stick of melted butter
- 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces of whole milk mozzarella, grate it yourself girlfriend
- 1/2 cup of Parmesan, grated
RANCH DRESSING PACKET INGREDIENTS:
- Ranch dressing packet
- Whatever else the ranch dressing packet says
- Alternatively, this is way better
Pizza Dough Prep [source]:
Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand 1 minute, or until the yeast is creamy. Stir until the yeast dissolves.
In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups flour and the salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Lightly coat a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to oil the top. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Flatten the dough with your fist. Cut the dough into 2 pieces and shape the pieces into balls. Flatten the dough slightly. Dust the tops with flour. Place the balls of dough on a floured surface and cover each with plastic wrap, allowing room for the dough to expand. Let rise 60 minutes, or until doubled.
Roll out one piece of dough into a circle and put on a lightly greased baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. It should be slightly thick, this is not a thin-crust operation. You can let it rest while you prep the toppings.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Garlic-Cheese Topping Prep:
Don’t you hate when you take the cheese home and then it becomes apparent to you that you did not SAVE 55 CENTS NOW on this Bel Gioso purchase even though that was the only reason you bought it in the first place? That said, this is good cheese. But it is also fresh mozzarella. I do not recommend fresh mozz on Pokey Stix, so get out there and buy yourself a cheap block of the whole milk kind.
Mix all the ingredients for the Garlic Topping together, EXCEPT for the cheese.
Spread liberally on your rolled out pizza dough.
Then add the grated mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Basically, just monitor it after the 15 minute point.
RANCH DRESSIN PREP:
I’m a-fearin’ that I just need you to read the directions on the package.
Whoops, how did this get in here? The packaging is so neat. Yep, that’s exactly why I bought it.
How did those fresh chives get in there? The world will never know.
Take your homemade Pokeys out of the oven.
Cut the Pokey Circle down once down the middle, and then cut strips. Excuse me. “Stix.”
Serve on a plate with dipping sauces of your choice. Should you want to recreate the garlic butter sauce, it’s just melted margarine with onion powder, dried parsley, and garlic powder. I recommend it.
Enjoy! Try not to die!