bread sticks

bread sticks

to say I’m a soup fiend is a bit of an understatement. those around me know that, if I haven’t made a soup, or at least a stock, each week, they have good reason to doubt my mental health.

bread things go hand-in-hand with soup things, but oddly enough, I’m not much of a bread person and soup-making days are typically those when I really can’t be arsed to go out and hunt down a good loaf of bread. nevermind the fact that said loaf of bread would just go bad before we ate it all. that’s where this recipe comes in; it goes together quickly enough and is a small batch (though easily doubled for snacking purposes – people WILL snack on these) so I’m not fretting about lost foods, plus one can dress these guys up or down as desired.

below this basic recipe, I’ve provided instructions for making the cheesy-herby-garlicky bread sticks shown above along with some other notes on variations you might try.

makes 12-16 sticks

what you need:

  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup warm (warmer than luke, but not hot) water
  • 1 tbsp dry, active yeast
  • 2.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

what you do:

  1. stir the honey and water together in a large bowl.
  2. sprinkle the yeast on top.
  3. let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. add the flour, salt, and olive oil
  5. mix with a wooden spoon until combined.
  6. coat hands in flour, then knead for one minute.
  7. form into a ball.
  8. let rise until doubled (approximately half an hour).
  9. preheat oven to 425.
  10. punch the dough down and knead for one minute.
  11. split the dough into two balls.
  12. roll each ball out into a (approximately) 8″x 8″ rectangle.
  13. NOTE: If you want to dress your bread sticks up, now is the time to do it. see notes below for detail.
  14. using a pizza cutter or very sharp knife, cut the dough into one inch strips.
  15. give each strip 4 twists and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet with a good half inch between each stick. you’ll need two baking sheets for this.
  16. don’t worry about uniformity.
  17. reduce oven temp to 375 and place baking sheets in the oven.
  18. bake for 12 minutes.
  19. NOTE: If there is a cheese-adding step to fancying up your breadsticks, this is when you’ll do it.
  20. brush each stick with oil.
  21. bake for another 3-5 minutes.
  22. remove from oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
  23. MANGEZ!

Italian-esque cheese and herb (great with black bean and tomato or meatball soup)

what you need:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder or 3 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese (or provolone or marble or some other melty cheese), grated

what you do:

  1. in a bowl, mix together all but the cheese.
  2. once you’ve rolled the dough balls out into (kinda) rectangles (step 12), spread this mixture on top of each before cutting.
  3. twist and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and bake for 12 minutes.
  4. push the bread sticks close together, all snug-like, and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
  5. bake for another 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbling and browning.

other variations:

  • for bread sticks that goes better with a milder soup, like a cream of- or potage (or just for munching), skip the garlic, use tarragon, thyme, or basil and switch up the mozzarella for a Gruyère or Swiss cheese.
  • make a sweet version using 1/4 cup of melted, unsalted butter, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and a pinch of ground clove. still top it with mozzarella or provolone, or mix the lot of the seasoning with 1/4 cup of cream cheese and spread that on, if you’re daring.
  • make it tex-mex style using 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp thyme, 2 minced jalepenos and monterey jack cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

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