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Soft Breadsticks

2011 January 17
by Alicia

If you’ve got a few hours until dinner, you should make these breadsticks.  They are soft and light in texture, and can be mixed with spices or herbs to become the perfect complement to your meal.

Soft Breadsticks

These breadsticks remind me of those available aplenty at a certain Italian restaurant chain.  If you add a little garlic powder and a light sprinkling of finely grated Parmesan cheese, you will be very close to copying their signature breadsticks!

The Lineup

Begin by softening the yeast in some of the warm water in your mixing bowl.  I like to dissolve a little bit of the sugar into the water before sprinkling the yeast on top.  This will provide a little extra “food” for the yeast as it is dissolving into the water.

YeastYeast

After about 5 minutes, mix in the rest of the ingredients.  If you have a stand mixer, beat it together with the paddle attachment until it’s mostly come together.  There may be lots of floury bits, but that’s okay.  Then, change to the dough hook and let it work with the dough until it comes into a nice, smooth dough.

Doughy

Dough

If you like kneading by hand, this is the point where you can, and you’ll need to knead it for about 5 minutes or so.  Otherwise, keep the dough working with the dough hook for another couple minutes.  Be careful if you let the machine to the work, however, because it is easy to overwork the dough by letting the mixer do the work for you.  When kneading by hand, you’ll likely tire before it reaches that point.

Kneaded

Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour.

Rise

Flour your workspace and turn the dough out onto the surface.  Lightly press it into a rectangle and let it sit a few minutes.

Turned OutFlattened

After letting the dough relax for a little bit, roll it out into a larger rectangle which is about 1/2 inch thick.

Rolled Out

Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into breadsticks.  I’ve tried using other tools, but I’ve found that a pizza cutter is the perfect solution.  Of course, you need to be careful with your workspace.  Please don’t slice through your countertop if it cannot handle a sharp blade passing across it (A butter knife will also get the job done).

SliceReady to Rise

Dust the baking sheets with a little cornmeal or spray with cooking spray.  Place the breadsticks at least 1 1/2 inches apart, cover, and let rise again for about another hour.

Rise

Brush with some melted butter before baking.  If you’d like, mix a little garlic powder or salt in with the butter to add some flavor to the breadsticks.  Bake until a light golden brown.  The breadsticks will rise again in the oven (called “oven spring”) quite a bit, so don’t be surprised at how much they bake up!

Brushed

When they are done, brush again with melted butter, and serve right away!

Baked

Soft Breadsticks
Recipe found somewhere online, a long time ago!

1 1/2 cups warm water, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 1/4 oz package) active dry yeast
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon fine salt

Place 1/4 cup warm water into a large mixing bowl.  Mix in about 1 teaspoons of sugar and dissolve.  Sprinkle yeast on top of water and let sit for about 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until dough comes together.  Dough will be slightly sticky.  Knead a few minutes by hand or with a dough hook.  Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface and lightly press into a rectangle.  Let dough rest 5 to 10 minutes.  Roll out into a large rectangle about 1/2″ thick.  Cut into 16 to 20 breadsticks.  Sprinkle baking sheets with cornmeal and place breadsticks on top, about 2 inches apart.  Cover and let rise again until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Brush with butter, and sprinkle with salt or seasonings (such as garlic powder) before placing in oven.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until a light golden brown.  Brush with butter again after baking.  Serve immediately.

Makes 1 1/2 to 2 dozen breadsticks.

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