Bread Sticks – Yeasty Goodness!

I love bread! Let’s get that straight right from the get go. I love eating it, I love making it. There is nothing like a nice fresh slice of bread generously slathered with slightly cold butter, just soft enough to spread!

Almost as much as baking bread, I like finding recipes for yeasty goodness and I came across a keeper on another website that I visit regularly. It isn’t a cooking site, it’s a website for knitters! I just had to try the recipe and we both loved the resulting bread sticks. It’s a simple recipe with endless possibilities.

Bread sticks are, of course, a great appetizer. They’re perfect with a bowl of soup or a pasta dish. When these came out of the oven, we had a few with our drinks (wine for me, beer for John). I made these as written, but as I said, there are plenty of variations; you’re only limited by your imagination.

Parmesan Garlic Bread Sticks

[printable version]

Dough

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/4 cups white bread flour

Topping

  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Dissolve sugar in warm water in large bowl; sprinkle in yeast; let stand 10 minutes, then stir well. Stir in oil, salt, and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth and elastic. If necessary, add more flour to make a soft dough which leaves sides of bowl; turn out onto floured board; gather up into a ball.

Knead dough, adding more flour as necessary until smooth and no longer sticky (8-10 minutes); place in lightly greased bowl; turn dough to grease top; cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled (approximately 45-60 minutes); punch down dough and turn out onto lightly floured board. Let rest for 10 minutes; roll out to a 16” x 8” rectangle. (Note: to get more bread sticks, cut the dough in half and roll out each half separately.)

Combine topping ingredients except for the coarse salt and melted butter; spread mixture evenly over half of surface, sprinkle with coarse salt to taste and fold over; cut dough into 1-inch strips; pick up each strip by the ends and twist; place on greased baking sheet. Preheat oven to 425F and set rack in middle of oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden. Brush with melted butter as they come out of the oven.

Variations: Try using different herbs in addition to the garlic/oil/cheese mixture. Try using a blend of cheeses-parmesan, asiago, cheddar; you’re only limited by your imagination.

To make pizza bread sticks, instead of garlic/oil/cheese, spread with  pizza sauce, sprinkle with dried rosemary or basil and grated parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

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