So, in my continual quest to be able to bake any kind of bread, I tried bread sticks tonight. Kinda a traditional type of bread recipe, so nothing wild and crazy there. I originally had planned to make them with fresh garlic and butter but changed my plan when I decided today was the day. And I wanted to get the dough rising 45 minutes before dinner needed to be on the table. So, I delved into my All American Baking Book and came up with this recipe. The measurements are from the book. The technique is all Mary.
1 packet of active dry yeast (I do 2 1/4 tsp but it’s the same thing)
1 1/4 c lukewarm water
3 c flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg (could have gone with a couple of tsp of egg-white instead. I wasted an entire egg and only used about a tbsp)
Sea Salt (or I used Pink Himalayan salt)
Dissolve the yeast in the water and let stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the flour, salt, sugar and olive oil in the bowl of your Kitchen Aid mixer with the bread hook attachment. Spin that sucker about 5 times around to combine while you’re waiting the 15 minutes.
If you don’t have a Kitchen Aid, you can use a food processor, or do it the cave-man method. With a spoon.
Slowly add the yeast and water mixture to the flour mixture until it comes together. It may be sticky…I found I had to add about 1/4 c more flour to get the consistency correct. The dough should hold together and be slightly moist, but not sticky.
Knead (by hand or by Kitchen Aid) until smooth and elastic. I did about 5 minutes in the Kitchen Aid and about 2-3 min by hand to make sure the dough didn’t become wallpaper paste.
Turn into a greased (oiled) bowl and cover. Let rise for 45 minutes at least. Doubled in size.
Depending on the size of bread stick you want will depend on the size of ball you will tear from the dough. I did half mine in golf ball size, and half in a bit larger (probably around 2 1/2″ diameter) size.
Roll on a board until they are the length and width you desire. I think I came up with 12 total, but you could have thinner bread sticks and wind up with 18-24.
Once you have your bread sticks on an ungreased baking pan, brush with egg and then sprinkle on your flavorings. The recipe I read in my book suggested sesame seeds (toast those suckers first!) but I could see poppy seed, or caraway seed…kosher salt, maybe red pepper flake, or an herb/garlic mixture.
Let rise again for about 20 minutes. Don’t get excited that they’ll rise a ton. Just a little bit. At this point you can preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Shut the oven off after fifteen minutes and let them sit for another 5 minutes in the oven with the door shut. They should be nicely golden but not brown.
Let cool for a few minutes then remove from the baking pan. Serve warm or room temperature. You can always put them in a pretty wrapping and set them on the table too.
You could probably turn these into sweet bread sticks too, by sprinkling sugar or brown sugar instead of salt on them. Cinnamon-sugar would be nice.
Let me know how you like them…..