Some people live for noodles, others for rice, and still others for potatoes. In our family, we are pretty split when asked what each person’s favorite starch is. One thing we are easily unanimous about? Bread. We love our various breads. Any shape, size, or style – when breads hit the table, I have to apportion each person’s share evenly before anyone can snag the whole thing. Not kidding even a little bit.
These babies rise up nicely and consistently. On a more daily basis, I make denser whole grain breads for the kids, so I’m often hassling with heavier dough that can be rise-finicky. With these little breadsticks, the dough is fuss-free and breezy.
Back in college, my girl friends and I enjoyed budget-friendly lunches with Olive Garden’s breadsticks-n-salad deal. I haven’t forgotten those breadsticks. I was excited to replicate the yummy breadsticks at home and have them turn out amazingly soft, chewy, and so good. Part of the reason why these are so tasty is that they are freshly baked. F-r-e-s-h. Warm, soft, and buttery with herbs. Listen. It’s suddenly quiet around the table….mmm.
Bake them while everyone’s around to drool, and serve them while still fresh and warm. These are truly best when eaten the day they’re baked. I’ll say no more. Enjoy!
RECIPE (16 breadsticks)
For the Dough
1/4 cup warm water (115 F)
1 package (.25 oz) active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more if needed
2 TB butter, softened (not melted)
2 TB white sugar
1 TB fine salt
1 1/4 cups + 2 TB warm water
For the Topping
4 TB melted butter
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinches of grated Parmesan cheese
pinches of dried oregano
Sprinkle yeast into 1/4 cup warm water. Let sit about 10 minutes, until foamy. Slowly add flour, butter, sugar, fine salt, and warm water (1 1/4 cups + 2 TB). Mix until dough forms. Dough should be just a little bit sticky, but still able to form a ball. If needed, add a little bit of flour at a time until your dough reaches right consistency.
Knead dough by hand on lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until dough gets smooth and soft. Roll dough into a 2-foot log. With sharp knife, cut into 16 even pieces. Keep pieces covered with cloth. Knead each piece slightly and shape into 7-inch long breadstick. Place breadsticks 2 in. apart on parchment-lined baking sheet. Spray each piece with oil and cover with cloth. Let rise in draft-free, warm spot until doubled. About 45 min to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400F. Brush breadsticks with half of the melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt evenly. Bake on lower middle rack until lightly golden, about 13-14 minutes. Watch closely to prevent over browning.
With breadsticks still hot on parchment-lined sheet, brush with remaining melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with garlic, parmesan, and oregano.
Serve up while still warm!