I absolutely love breadsticks, especially when they’re fresh out of the oven. I haven’t made too many of them in my life, but my mom used to make them often. I realized that I hadn’t made any for a loooong time the other day when my wife and I made some chicken noodle soup and realized we didn’t have any bread in the house to eat with it. The next day to eat with the leftovers, I decided I’d make some breadsticks. Let’s see, that was around 6:30 p.m. Breadsticks take about 2-1/2 hours from start to finish. I’m not sure what I was thinking… the whole family was hungry, the soup was done, and I was going to make breadsticks?
I enlisted my 3-year-old to help me mix the dough, who loved every step of the way. When dumping the flour in the mixing bowl, she’d sometimes miss the bowl and dump it on the counter. Even so, all the ingredients eventually found their way to the bowl, where we mixed them into a sticky ball of dough. We used our Bosch mixer to mix the breadstick dough–if you haven’t invested in a good table-top mixer yet, I highly recommend the Bosch brand.
Now, there are a lot of breadstick recipes out there, most of which are descent. I found one breadstick recipe on RecipeZaar.com called“The Ultimate Breadsticks” that I decided to use this time around. Overall, I’d say they’re better than a lot of other homemade breadsticks I’ve tried so I’ll keep using this recipe until I come across some that remind me more of Pizza Hut’s cheesy breadsticks (holy yum).
Something I’d recommend before beginning this recipe is to be sure you have at least two cookie sheets or a couple cooking stones or something available. This recipe makes a ton of breadsticks (32-45 breadsticks), so be prepared. In fact, if you’re not wanting any leftovers, you’ll want to half this recipe. Leftovers of this recipe are good too (even better warmed up), and are great for sword fights, food fights, javelins and all sorts of crazy stuff, not to mention eating. So, without further ado, here’s how to make italian herb breadsticks (a.k.a. The Ultimate Breadsticks, as found on RecipeZaar.com). This recipe’s author also lists a number of variations on these breadsticks, so read through the entire breadstick recipe first before diving in and cooking these.
Italian Herb Breadsticks
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup of water with sugar.
- Let stand 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the butter.
- Stir into dough and knead until smooth and elastic and slightly sticky (I use a heavy- duty mixer).
- Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
- Punch down. Divide dough in half.
- Roll one half dough out into a 12 x 18 inch rectangle on a floured surface.
- Brush with melted butter.
- Cut dough in half vertically, and then cut horizontally into 8 strips (16 bread sticks from one half of dough).
- Repeat this same step with other half of dough. You should have 32 bread sticks all together.
- Now at this point you can do the following variations:
- Cheesy Bread Sticks: Press buttered side down of breadstick in freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Twist bread stick multiple times and lay out on parchment lined cookie sheets. (I do about 8 to a pan-parchment necessary so the cheese won’t stick to the pan). Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until double in bulk and then bake. After baking, brush with remaining melted garlic butter.
- Garlic Butter Bread Sticks: Twist bread sticks that have already been spread with garlic butter mixture. Place on greased baking sheet and let rise 30 minutes. After baking, brush again with melted garlic butter.
- Herb & Cheese Breadsticks: Use plain melted butter to spread on dough, then sprinkle bread sticks with Parmesan cheese and Salad Supreme. Place on sprayed baking sheets and let rise 30 minutes before baking. Brush again with remaining melted butter after baking.
- Pizza Breadsticks: Let buttered bread sticks rise on parchment lined baking sheets 30 minutes. Spread with pizza sauce and place pepperoni on top. The last 5 minutes of baking add shredded cheese.
- Cinnamon Sugar Breadsticks: Dip bread sticks in 1 stick melted of butter (skip the brush with melted butter step). Roll in a mixture of 2 cups brown sugar and about 1 Tbsp cinnamon (might need more sugar mixture depending on how much you use). Twist and let rise on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake.
*Spray pans or use parchment paper and cover lightly while rising.
**Let bread sticks rise 30 minutes before baking.
***Note all bread sticks will be cooked 15 to 18 minutes at 350° or until lightly browned.
There you have it! Have some fun experimenting with the different variations. I think my favorites are with parmesan cheese, although the brown sugar variation is also delicious. As some additional tips, if you’re going to make the twists, make sure you slice the dough wide enough so that when baking, the individual twist strips don’t dry out (cut each strip to at least 1″ wide).
“Recipe for Italian Herb Breadsticks” (PDF, 2 pages, 148 kb)
Now for some pictures! Yay!
I decided to make some of the breadsticks into mini sticks because the “cute little” factor really appeals to the kiddos.
Here’s a picture of the twisted breadsticks. I made the twists on these breadsticks a little too small. I’d recommend keeping each twist no smaller than 1/2″… but they’d be better at 3/4″ to 1″.
I’d love to hear how any of you prepare your breadsticks or if there’s a specific breadstick recipe that you love.