Monday, April 18, 2011

Amazing Seasoned Breadsticks

These lightly seasoned breadsticks are a great sidecar to salads, soups, or saucy entrées. Enjoy them warmed or room temperature, plain or dipped in olive oil.
Yield: 24 breadsticks

4 cups unbleached white flour
1 T. dry yeast
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoons salt
1 2/3 cups warm water

Basting mixture:
3 Tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly pressed garlic
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Proof the yeast by whisking it into the warm water with the sugar. Let stand for several minutes until a thick froth develops on top.

Pour liquid into a large mixing bowl and add the melted butter and salt.

Gradually add the flour, mixing thoroughly, until a soft dough is formed.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter top or bread board and knead until it is quite smooth and elastic, about ten minutes.

Place dough into a lightly oiled mixing bowl and set aside to rise, covered with a slightly damp cotton towel, until doubled in size, about two hours.

Melt the 3 Tablespoons of butter in a small skillet and add the other seasonings. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend.

Knead the risen dough for a minute to remove any large air bubbles. Divide dough into 4 sections. Divide one section at a time into six evenly-sized balls. Roll the balls with your hands on the counter top to form roughly 8 inch long breadsticks.

Place 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet and set aside to rise again until nearly doubled in size.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 

Bake breadsticks on center rack for 15 minutes. During baking, brush twice with seasoned butter mixture, and again upon removing the breadsticks from the oven.

Cool on a cotton towel. 

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