Cheesy garlic fingers with donair sauce

A made-in-the Maritimes delight!

A recent trip to Nova Scotia reawakened my love for garlic fingers dipped in the made-in-the-Maritimes delight that is donair sauce. Donairs are similar to gyros or shawarmas, but their sauce – a sweet and sour concoction that is oddly irresistible – is what sets them apart. Pair this sauce with cheesy, pizza-style garlic fingers and you’ve got a snack that’s as tempting at breakfast as it is at 3 a.m. after a night on the town.



  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup (250 mL) warm water (~110F)
  • Pinch white sugar
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups (625 – 750 mL) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 (7.5 mL) teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (75 mL) olive oil

Donair sauce

  • 3/4 cup (185 mL) canned sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) garlic powder


  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) garlic butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 cups (500 mL) shredded mozzarella cheese


  • In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water (use a stand mixer if you have it). Add pinch of sugar. Let sit 5 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups (500 mL) of flour, salt, remaining sugar and olive oil. Mix thoroughly, adding another 1/2 cup (125 mL) of flour as the mixture comes together.
  • Keep mixing, adding more flour one tablespoon (15 mL) at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl without sticking. Knead in stand mixer for 3 minutes or turn out onto floured counter and knead by hand for 5 minutes.
  • Put dough in a second bowl which has been lightly oiled; cover with a clean towel.
  • Let rise for 1 hour.
  • While dough is rising, prepare donair sauce by combining sweetened condensed milk, vinegar and garlic powder in a bowl. Stir or whisk to blend well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  • When dough has finished rising, punch it down then remove from bowl to a parchment-lined pizza pan or baking tray.
  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • With your hands, press dough outwards from centre to stretch to fill the pizza pan or create a large oval on the baking tray. Brush garlic butter over dough to cover evenly then sprinkle cheese over top.
  • Bake in preheated oven until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to cutting board. With a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut into sticks about 2 x 6 inches (5 x 15 cm).
  • Serve with donair sauce for dipping.

Makes 1 pizza-sized portion of garlic fingers. No judgement if that’s one serving in your world.


Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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