PJ’s Timmy Bread

Back in the day I used to frequent a hole-in-the-wall pizza place called PJ’s in Warren, IN.  There were several different businesses with the same name, but this was the only pizza joint.  A couple buddies of mine accidentally found it one day while driving around and possibly lost.  I was pretty amazed the first time I went.  Here are its salient features:

  • Friendly staff
  • Plenty of dining room seating
  • Juke box with 7 songs for $1
  • Plethora of drink options with free refills
  • If we called ahead, they’d fire up the extra pizza oven to more quickly get us our pizza
  • At least one of the female employees always seemed to be pregnant (one night there were three)
  • Guaranteed good times filled with many laughs and stories to tell later

One of the amazing appetizers was their cheesy garlic bread.  After frequenting this place for a year or two we noticed a new item called “Timmy Bread” and asked what it was.  Timmy was the name of an employee who liked to put some pizza sauce under the cheese on the garlic bread to effectively create a french bread pizza of sorts.  It was an immediate hit and we never looked back.

One day in August of 2005, we all arrived to find PJ’s empty.  The place had closed down with absolutely no notice.  We were extremely bummed and angry to find a new, pizza franchise in town.  We suspected PJ’s was put out of business by the cheap nastiness now sold down the street.  Since then, I’ve had to make myself some Timmy Bread every so often when I find myself longing for PJ’s goodness and seven Southern Rock songs for a buck.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of Italian or French bread
  • Some pizza or spaghetti sauce
  • Shredded cheese
  • Dried, minced garlic (optional)
  • Italian seasoning or basil and oregano (optional)

Equipment:

  • Serrated (preferred) knife to slice the bread
  • One beefy arm to open jar of sauce
  • Spoon or butter knife to spread sauce
  • Shredder for cheese (if you shred your own)
  • One cookie sheet or pan
  • Oven mits or thick towel
  • Oven

Preparation:
Step 1 – Slice your loaf in half.  If the length of the loaf is too long for your cookie sheet or pan, feel free to make the pieces smaller.  Sometimes the top half of your loaf is curved and this piece may roll a bit.  Some might suggested shaving some of that curve off, but I just smash the bread down a bit.

Step 1 - slice bread

Step 1 – slice the bread

Step 2a – Spoon some sauce onto the bread.  Pizza sauce is preferable because of its thickness.  Spaghetti sauce also works fine, but it’s thinner and can be a bit runny.

Step 2a - apply sauce

Step 2a – apply the sauce

Step 2b (Optional) – Sprinkle on some garlic and Italian seasoning to your tastes.  Some sauces are pretty bland, it just depends what you like.

Step 2b - optional garlic and herbs

Step 2b – apply shredded cheese

Step 3 – Apply the shredded cheese.  You can buy a bag of shredded cheese or shred your own.  I always prefer to shred my own cheese.  It costs less money in the long run, and tastes much better.  I shredded some pepper jack cheese for today’s Timmy Bread.

Step 3 - apply cheese

Step 3 – apply the cheese

Step 4 – Cook your Timmy Bread in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted.  This should take roughly 10 minutes.  You can leave it in longer if you like your bread more cooked and crispy.  Be careful not to burn it though.

Step 4 - cook bread

Step 4 – cook at 350F

Step 5 – Take a picture and share with your friends.  (Note – Sharing the Timmy Bread is not required)