Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Italian Breadsticks

How many times have you been out to eat at an Italian restaurant and had a delicious breadstick?  They are so sinfully tasty, but despite how good they may be, most people never even try to make them at home.  Although they may seem difficult, they are actually quite easy and do not require a ton of ingredients.  In fact, most people usually have all the ingredients lying around in their kitchen.  The only hassle with making breadsticks is waiting - for the dough to rise that is.  Patience is key when making these appetizing treats.  The recipe below was adapted from the food network website, and for those who have ever been to an Olive Garden, I promise that these breadsticks will taste just like theirs, if not better!
Italian Breadsticks
Ingredients:
-1 package of active dry yeast
-1/4 cup warm water
-4 1/4 cup flour, plus extra for rolling
-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
-2 tablespoons sugar
-1 tablespoon salt
-1 1/4 cup warm water, plus 2 tablespoons (if needed)

Topping:
-3 tablespoons butter
-1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-Pinch of oregano 

Directions:
To make the dough, place the package of yeast in a bowl with 1/4 cup warm water.  Let sit for a few minutes.  Sift in the flour, sugar, and salt.  Mix in the butter.  The dough will still be very dry, so add in the 1 1/4 cup of warm water.  Using your hands, mix the dough together.  If the dough is still a little too dry, then add 1 - 2 tablespoons of warm water.  If you end up adding too much water and the dough becomes too wet, you can just sprinkle in more flour a little at a time.  

The dough will be very sticky, so flour your hands and the surface area you will be working on very well.  Knead the dough until smooth (about 5 minutes).  Roll the dough out into a 2-foot long log.  You will need to roll and pull out the dough in order for it to stretch out.  Once rolled out, cut the log into 1 1/2 in long pieces.  If you measure it, you will get exactly 16 pieces.  But do not worry, I usually just eye it and still get 14-16 pieces.  
Once you have all of your pieces, briefly knead each one again, and roll out into about a 7-inch long log.  Lay on a baking sheet 2 inches apart.  When all of the pieces have been rolled out and are on the pan, place a cloth over the entire pan and let rest in a warm place until doubled (about 45 minutes). 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  When the dough is ready, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and lightly brush it over the dough.  Sprinkle each stick with a little salt and then place in the oven for 15 minutes.  
As soon as the breadsticks come out of the oven, melt the rest of the butter (1 1/2 tablespoons) and mix the oregano, garlic powder, and salt into the melted butter.  Brush the breadsticks with the topping.  Depending on your taste buds, I usually sprinkle a little more oregano on top of each breadstick.  Not only does it add even more flavor, but adds color as well.  

Serve warm alongside any Italian meal or eat just as a snack! Enjoy! 




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2 comments:

  1. These have been on my "to-bake" list forever! I need to just take the plunge and make them!

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  2. Question? How many breadsticks does the recipe make?

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