The recipe was simple, the directions were simple, but I was still skeptical. Then, I tasted the bread sticks for the first time. The best description I can come up with is light, pillows of buttery bread and deliciousness. I had to use every ounce of self-control that I possess not to eat the entire pan. The BF was hooked too. The next day, as we were leaving, we both caught each other as we went into the kitchen to grab leftover bread sticks. I got the recipe. Then, I started making the bread sticks for friends and for a few dinner parties. They are always a hit. So, here is the recipe, how to make them, and a few tips and tricks that I've picked up on.
3 C Flour
1 Tbsp Yeast
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar
1.5 C Warm Water
1 Stick Butter
Bread Stick Topping (I like Garlic Bread Sprinkle and Parmesan Cheese if available).
Pizza Cutter or Sharp Knife
1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Melt the butter in a 9x13 baking pan and set aside. DO this step first. Do not skip it. While the oven is preheating, leave the door open a little with pan/butter inside.
2. Combine flour and a heaping* tablespoon of yeast into a mixing bowl. In a separate container combine sugar, salt**, and warm*** water. Add the water mixture to the flour mixture and knead for 3 minutes. Dough should be sticky. Let it rise for 10 minutes. (Don't forget the butter melting in the oven. If it's done, take it out and set it aside until the next step.)
*If you want to be exact, 1 tbsp of yeast is fine. I find that a heaping tablespoon causes the bread sticks to rise just a little bit more, making them "fluffier".
|This is as "heaping" as my tbsp gets|
**I never use as much salt as is called for, even in baking.
|Close but not quite the full amount of salt|
***Warm should be warm, not hot. You just want to activate the yeast, not denature and kill it.
3. Flour rolling surface. In fact, flour the dough a little bit before taking it out of the bowl. When the dough is on your rolling surface, I suggest flouring it a little bit more/rolling it around until it's outside surfaces are no longer sticky.
|Flouring the outside of the dough ball|
Roll the dough out to a size/shape slightly larger but similar to the pan you're using.
|You can see the dough peaking out from underneath the pan|
4. Cut dough into strips. If you're cutting really thin strips, I suggest adding an extra tbsp or two to the pan of melted butter.
Coat both sides of the bread sticks with the melted butter and lay in the pan (space will be tight). If you have squish them together, it's okay. Nobody said this was a pretty dish. It's a tasty dish. A little secret - these will be pull apart. Let rise for 15 minutes. (Hey, did you close your oven door? Now would be a good time to check).
|All squished together|
5. Top with desired toppings and bake for 20 minutes. I swear by this garlic bread sprinkle I found at Safeway. I love garlic, but I know that it is easy to over-garlic things. With this, though, it's pretty impossible. I'd rather not risk trying to guess how much or how little garlic salt to add. If you happen to have some sort of grated cheese in the fridge, it is also good. Best is white cheese like Parmesan or mozzarella.
Eat and enjoy. I know it starts off all Paula Deen-ish with a stick of butter in a pan, but when you work it out, a pan easily feeds about 5 grown adults with bread stick addictions. AND 1 stick of butter for a whole 9 x 13 pan is not that bad, especially when you consider how much butter you'd be putting on those hard, crunchy, bland restaurant bread sticks. Nope, these are downright healthy. :)
Finally a quick cleaning tip - use a pastry cutter to scrape your counter clean:
Again, in a simpler, more printable/storable form:
Bread Stick Recipe:
3 cups flour 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast 1 ½ cups warm water
½ tsp. salt 1 stick butter
Preheat oven to 350*. Melt the butter in a 9” x 13” baking pan and set aside. Combine the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the salt, sugar and warm water. Add the water mixture to the flour and knead for 3 minutes. Put the ball of dough (it will be very sticky) in a greased bowl and let rise for 10 minutes. Roll dough on floured surface to ½- inch thick. Cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Coat both sides of bread sticks with the melted butter and lay in the pan (space will be tight). Let rise for 15 minutes. Top with garlic salt, Parmesan cheese, or any other desired toppings. Bake for 20 minutes.