In my Whole Wheat Bread tutorial post I mentioned that I make some fabulous breadsticks. I know you're all dying for me to post a breadstick tutorial to back up that claim, so here you go!
I got this recipe from Epicure actually, but made a few changes to it. I originally used this recipe to make a bread bowl and cheese dip that's amazing, and then one day decided to make it as breadsticks, and was hooked! These go great with spaghetti, lasagna or practically any meal really.
Without further ado, here is the breadstick tutorial (recipe at the end)....
Step 1: In your KitchenAid mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and sugar, and wait a couple minutes for the yeast to bubble.
Step 2: Add in softened (I always just melt it in microwave) butter/margarine, milk, flour, salt and focaccia (optional) spice. Add more or less flour as needed and beat until dough is just slightly sticky to the touch. I prefer this recipe with all white flour, but you could play around with adding in some whole wheat instead if you like.
Note: I love Epicure's focaccia and I use it in this recipe a lot. You could add a herb/garlic spice instead, or pretty much whatever you want. Or you could leave out the spice altogether, and brush on some garlic butter after baking. I've made this recipe with all those variations and I love them all!
Step 3: Spray bowl with Pam, cover and allow dough to rise until doubled, approximately 45 min to 1 hour.
Step 4: Divide into sections - this recipe I usually divide in half, then divide each half into about 12 sections.
Step 5: Roll each section into a breadstick shape by holding it between your palms and rubbing them back and forth - pretend you're on Survivor and trying to start a fire by rubbing sticks together. That won't likely work in real life, but it will make you some nice breadsticks for this recipe.
Of course, if you have kidlets assisting you, you may wind up with different shaped breadsticks! (snails, lollipops, heart, doughnut)
Step 6: Cover and allow to rise until doubled - when I'm in a hurry (decided a little late in the day to start making these) I've skimped on this step and only let it rise 15-20 mins. But 30 - 45 minutes would be best. Ignore the colour on this picture, not sure what happened there - but you get the idea of the rising action.
Step 7: Bake in 375 preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Step 8: Brush with melted butter and serve warm. Delicious!!
Because this recipe makes a lot of breadsticks, you can slightly underbake one of the pans (if you think of it, if not, it works just fine fully baked too), cool and freeze in a ziplock bag to quickly and easily pull out and reheat in the oven for another dinner. To reheat, I find that if I stick them in the oven thawed and then turn the oven to 350 - they're ready by the time the oven has finished pre-heating. You could halve the recipe, but it's just as easy to make it as is and then you've got enough for 2 meals - I'm all about simplicity baby!
Like I mentioned before, you can also bake this in a round casserole dish (375 for about 25 minutes) to make a fabulous bread bowl to go alongside some cheese dip as a great appetizer dish.
Here's the recipe....
Makes approximately 24 breadsticks
2 tsp yeast
3/4 cup warm water
3 tsp sugar
3 tbsp butter/margarine
1/2 cup milk
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp focaccia (optional)
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and sugar. After the yeast has began to bubble, add in butter, milk, flour, salt and any optional spices. Adjust flower as necessary and knead until dough is smooth and just a tad sticky. Place in buttered bowl, cover and let rise until double. Divide dough into approximately 24 sections. Roll dough rapidly between your hands to shape into breadsticks. Place on two pans, cover and let rise for about an hour. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Or bake in one casserole dish at 375 for 25 minutes to make a bread bowl.
Note: original recipe called for dry milk. If you'd like to go that route, you can substitute 2 tbsp dry milk for the 1/2 cup milk and increase water to 1 1/4 cups (instead of 3/4 cup).
Here's the recipe for the cheese dip....
250g package cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 tsp Epicure Lemon Dilly Dip Mix
1 tsp Epicure Cheese Chive & Bacon Dip Mix
1 tsp Epicure 3 Onion Dip Mix
Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 for 20 minutes in a casserole dish. You could substitute any comparable spices for a similar effect. Serve with bread bowl.