Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bread Sticks

One of the features of our new blog is going to be focusing on some of our favorite recipes. And I get to be first. This is one of our family's favorite recipes. We've made this recipe two times in the last couple of weeks. I love how versatile it is, you can use this recipe for bread sticks, pizza dough, calzones, or almost anything you need a bread dough for and it will taste great in any of them. I also love that there's room for help from kids in this recipe. Our 6 year-old loves to "paint" the bread sticks with garlic and butter (and it's amazing that she then eats them, she's never liked garlic before being able to help make these!) and our 11 year old enjoys helping me shape them into sticks. I also love how simple the recipe is, it goes together very quickly, it's almost as easy as just buying the Costco bread sticks! I just realized that I don't have a picture of these. Oh, darn! I guess I'll just have to make them again so that I can add a picture! 

Bread Sticks
From Our Best Bites Mormon Moms in the Kitchen by Sara Wells & Kate Jones pg 30

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups warm (105 degrees to 115 degrees F) water
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 1/2 cups flour

Directions

In a large bowl (I use the bowl of my stand mixer) combine water, sugar and yeast. I start with the water, dissolve the sugar in it and then the yeast, and I've had great results not stirring at all. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes you want this mixture to be bubbly. If it doesn't bubble then something is wrong with your mixture and you might want to start over, because most likely your bread sticks won't rise either.

Add the salt and 1 1/2 cups of flour. I use the paddle attachment that came with my stand mixer to do this. Then you want to add the remaining flour slowly. The reason that there is a range of flour in bread recipes is that in different weather, humidity and parts of the country you will need a different amount. I add flour by half cups at this point until the whole lump of dough stays on the paddle attachment instead of some of it stuck to the bowl. But don't add too much or these soft bread sticks will turn out hard!


You can tell that there's enough flour when the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl like this! 

Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray (I simply pull the paddle attachment out of my mixer and use the bowl I mixed in), place dough in it, cover (you can use a clean towel, or I use my lids for my mixer bowl) and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes you roll out the dough, I usually roll it out half at a time, but you can roll the whole thing out to a rectangle about 18 inches by 9 inches and cut into 12 strips. A pizza cutter makes this really simple. I cut each of these strip in half and then we simply twist them. 


Put them onto a cookie sheet that you've sprayed with cooking spray, cover with a towel and allow to rise 30 minutes. I have to confess that I've never made it the whole 30 and they've still come out great! This is where what I do differs from the recipe. The recipe says to bake the bread sticks and then you kind of melt the butter onto them and add whatever seasonings you prefer. I like to melt the butter and add the seasonings to the melted butter (I use probably a couple of tablespoons of butter, I've never measured and some garlic salt, also never measured!) and brush it on just before baking. It just seems simpler to me, plus it gives our 6 year-old a not hot surface so she can help me easier. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees as they are rising. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Then you have hot, homemade bread sticks that I promise are amazing!









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