One of my favorite recipes of all time happens to be quite simple and very versatile. These breadsticks are great for the ‘yeast beginner’ because they are very easy to pull together, follow the ‘basic bread rules’ and taste fantastic. You can use this dough to make breadsticks, pizza dough and even calzones! After the initial rise it is totally acceptable to throw the dough into an oiled zip top bag and place it into the refrigerator to hold over for up to 3 days! Just take it out and apply whatever recipe you have by shaping the dough, letting it rise for the second time (this will take longer because the chill of the refrigerator slow the activity of the yeast in the recipe until it gets warm again.)
Here is the down and dirty quick version of my Basic Bread Method. Some recipes don’t require all of these steps and many breads I make require so many more steps!
Basic Bread Method:
Ingredients (where you combine and mix the ingredients. This includes properly proofing and handling the yeast, combining wet and dry ingredients and stirring to make a uniform mass.)
Kneading (where you develop the gluten or protein network in the flour of the dough to make the bread elastic and give it great texture. Can be done by hand or in a sturdy stand mixer with a dough hook.)
First Rise (this lets the dough grow, the yeast feeds off of the sugars in the recipe and emits carbon dioxide to lighten the dough, lift the dough and give great flavor)
Punch Down (removing the gas from the dough prior to shaping is key to have a great result. Giving the dough a rest after punching down will make it easier to handle.)
Shaping (shaping the dough into breadsticks, pizza crust, rolls, loaves, baguettes, etc prior to its final rise before baking is vital.)
Final Rise (the shaped dough gets one last rise to assist in flavor, texture and lightness.)
Baking (baking in an oven will set the crust, give additional ‘oven spring’ or growth of the dough during baking to make sure that lightness carries over into the finished product.
Here are some step by step photos and the full recipe to follow at the end of the post.
Throw all of the ingredients into the bowl together.
I stir the dough into a ball and then begin to knead… for a while.
Push the dough out…
Pull it back from the top…
Fold it over on itself.
Turn the dough 1/4 turn and repeat.
Place dough in well oiled bowl in a warm area to rise until double. 30-45 minutes.
Now, here’s the fun part. If you don’t have time and can’t bake now, simply throw this dough into the refrigerator. It is great there for up to 4 days. It will get enhanced flavor in the refrigerator and you can pull whatever amounts you need off of this portion throughout the week. OR proceed with this recipe by punching the dough down then giving it a rest to let the gluten relax. (*This makes your dough less spastic and it won’t shrink back to size if the dough has a rest.)
I usually just turn it out and depress the mass gently with my bear paws.
Oil the baking sheet or pan you’ll use. Sometimes I use this baking stone sheet pan or just an 8×8 or 9×9 glass pan. These breadsticks are not picky, they can bake in anything! I do prefer the high heat of glass or nonstick and even porous baking stone sheets to produce the great texture on the outside of the breadsticks.
Roll the dough out into a triangle. (I am totally guessing at the size that I put in the recipe… I eyeball things in my kitchen so it is DIFFICULT to provide intense details for you sometimes but darn it, I try!)
Place the strips in the bakeware of choice, top them with pizza seasoning, parmesan and olive oil. See how I crammed them in here… not a good job Cristen. They need space to grow. If I had been smart I’d have taken one breadstick OUT and made their size slightly less in their length.
Give them more space… like this…
Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 13-16 minutes until golden. If you want to be completely over the top, melt some butter on top (you can see the mini-chunk of butter that hasn’t melted yet on the breadsticks below.)
Easy Parmesan Garlic Breadsticks
1 1/3 C warm tap water (temperature 110 degrees or so, think warm bath water)
1 TBSP instant yeast or yeast for bread machines (active dry will work too, rising time will increase)
1 TBSP honey or sugar
4 TBSP Olive Oil
2 tsp salt
3 3/4 C All Purpose Flour
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Toppings prior to baking:
Olive Oil for drizzling in pan and on breadsticks prior to baking
2-3 tsp Pizza Seasoning (A blend of Italian herbs and crushed red pepper)
2-3 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
*King Arthur Flour “Pizza Dough Flavor” is a great addition to this recipe and one of my favorite add-ins to make these breadsticks taste like the ones you get from Pizza Hut. They do anyway, but this addition takes the flavor over the top!
*This recipe makes fabulous pizza dough too! Check out my Homemade Pizza Dough recipe for another version of this recipe (more plain in flavor) and all of the steps to get it into the oven, topped and baked.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir to combine. Knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30-45 minutes in a warm, draft free area until dough mass has doubled in bulk. After initial rise, punch down and roll to a rectangle. The size of your rectangle should be about 15 inches by 6 inches and 1/2 inch in thickness. (This is an estimate, mine turn out differently each time.) Cut the dough into 2 inch strips that are 6 inches long, you can make them smaller, depending on the size and thickness of the breadsticks you desire. Oil the desired baking dish (9×9 or 8×8) of choice, drizzle generously with olive oil and place strips into dish carefully. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30-34 minutes until double. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. When risen, remove plastic, sprinkle with pizza seasoning and parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil again. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown. Remove, serve warm with warm marinara sauce.