Twisted Breadsticks

After so many sweets around the holidays, I’m having a really hard time getting back into the kitchen to bake a dessert. I just can’t make myself do it. Pouring through all my new cookbooks, I can’t find a single thing that jumps out and says, “Bake me now!” So I’ve turned to my newest obsession instead—bread. Rolls, pretzels, brioche, focaccia, breadsticks. I want to make (and eat) it all. I love bread. In every form. Especially the kind they bring you in restaurants to eat while you’re waiting for your meal. Most times, I fill up on the bread and end up taking most of my meal home with me, because I’m too full to eat anything else! When I decided to make pasta for dinner at Boyfriend’s, I knew I wanted to make breadsticks to serve along with it. Garlicky, delicious breadsticks.

Slathered with garlic butter and sprinkled with herbs, they’re a great addition to any Italian meal. I used a big handful of some parmesan/herb dipping seasoning (the kind you add to olive oil for dipping your bread) that’s been hanging out in the back of my cabinet for who knows how long, but feel free to use a healthy sprinkling of parmesan cheese and some Italian seasoning instead. And definitely be sure to save some marinara sauce from your pasta, because these are perfect for dipping! For a different twist (get it, twist!), check out The Other Side of Fifty’s version, filled with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes!

How to make Twisted Breadsticks:

After your dough has proofed for 45 minutes to an hour in a warm place (and doubled in bulk), punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll dough out into a large (12x18”) rectangle. Brush the bottom half (the longer part) liberally with garlic butter and sprinkle cheese and seasonings over top. (You’ll want to have some of the garlic butter left over to brush on top of the baked breadsticks.)

Fold the top half of the dough (the part without the seasonings) over the seasonings and press to seal the edges.

Brush your egg wash over top of the folded dough (which I totally forgot to do, but recommend for a nice golden breadstick) and cut into 1 ½-inch strips.

Twist dough into spirals and place on well greased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Let proof a second time in a warm place for about 15 minutes, or until slightly puffed up. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool for about 2 minutes, then brush tops with remaining garlic butter and sprinkle with coarse salt (or garlic salt) and Italian seasoning.

Twisted Breadsticks
Adapted from Food Network and The Other Side of Fifty
Makes about 14 to 16 breadsticks

1 ¾ cup warm water
1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
4 ½ to 5 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ cup parmesan cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 egg, lightly beaten
Coarse salt, for sprinkling

1. In a measuring cup, measure out warm water (should be warm to the touch, but not hot). Sprinkle yeast over top and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix salt and flour on low to blend. Pour in yeast mixture and mix to combine. Add olive oil and sugar, mixing to combine. With mixer still on low, add remaining flour, one cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Turn out onto a floured work surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes. (Or continue to knead with your electric mixer using the dough hook.) Place dough into a bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray and turn to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes to an hour, until doubled in size.
4. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray; set aside.
5. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together butter and garlic until butter is melted. Stir frequently to keep garlic from burning. Once melted, set aside and let cool slightly.
6. When dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Roll dough into a large 12x18-inch rectangle, about ¼-inch thick. With a pastry brush, brush the bottom (longer) half of the dough liberally with garlic butter (Don’t use all the butter. You’ll need some to brush the tops of your baked breadsticks.) Sprinkle as much parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning as desired over the garlic butter. Fold top half of dough over seasonings, pressing the edges to seal.
7. In a small bowl, mix lightly beaten egg with 1 to 2 teaspoons of water or milk to make an egg wash. Using a clean pastry brush, brush egg wash onto dough. Cut dough into 14 to 16 1 ½-inch strips, twist into spirals and place on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Cover baking sheets with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes or until dough is slightly puffed up.
8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through, until breadsticks are golden brown. Let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Brush with remaining garlic butter and sprinkle coarse salt (or garlic salt) and more Italian seasoning. Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.
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Rachel @ Baked by Rachel said...

mmm I want these - now. Definitely saving this to try sometime soon. I have the same issue with bread at restaurants - especially Bugaboo Steakhouse.

tease-spoon of sugar said...

Those look mouth-watering. I'm like you, I tend to fill up on bread at a restaurant. I could see myself filling up on these too - and not needing anything else for dinner.

sarahe said...

um--YUM!! these look amazing! I've been on a bread kick too, and I totally do the same thing at restaurants, but hey, it's like paying for one meal and getting two!

oneordinaryday said...

My daughter would eat breadsticks for every meal if I let her. :) The look great!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see that I am not the only one who fills up on bread at restaurants! Hahaha...it drives my husband crazy! These bread sticks look insanely delicious, I must make them soon! :)

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