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Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I am on a bread making mission. I try to continually improve in every aspect of my life and I love cooking so much that I am always seeking to become better at it; however, my main ambition right now is to "perfect" the art of bread products. I have already learned quite a bit about making breads but I don't plan on reaching perfection any time soon. In fact, I will probably spend my life getting a little more perfect each time.

Have you ever experienced going to a restaurant and getting breadsticks that are just to die for - so soft and heavenly that you end up consuming a half dozen or so before your waistline starts to scream in protest? Have you ever had Fazoli's breadsticks? I haven't been there in a long time but from what I remember they definitely fit into this category. I went to look up the recipe online in hopes of replicating them only to find out that they don't "homemake" their breadsticks. They are pre-frozen. Call me nerdy or crazy or whatever but I was devastated. How can I hope to attain bread making perfection when competing with machines of mass production?

So I started searching for an alternate recipe. OurBestBites.com hasn't failed me yet so I naturally turned to them. The picture of their breadsticks (seen above) looked so beautiful that I knew I had to try the recipe.

The breadsticks were great - soft and chewy on the inside and just slightly crunchy on the outside. The recipe is only for 1 dozen breadsticks and after making them I understand why. Breadsticks don't "leave over" well. They lost the slight crunch they had by the next day and were a lot more tough and undesirable. So when you make these, because you should, make enough to consume at one time.

Thanks to OurBestBites.com for the picture and recipe that can be found at this site here: http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/04/breadsticks-and-pizza-dough/.

I won't go so far as to say these were the best breadsticks I have ever had because the BEST ones are the pre-frozen ones that I am desperately trying to replicate from scratch - but I am continually on the hunt! If you have a tried-and-true recipe that you go ga-ga over PLEASE send it to me so I can try it out!

Recipe from OurBestBites.com
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1 1/2 c. warm (105-115 degrees) water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 1/2 c. flour

In a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer, if you have one), combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.

Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2 c. flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (usually between 3-4 cups, depending on your elevation and your humidity) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.

Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Remove from bowl and place on a lightly-floured surface. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll into a rectangle and cut into 12 strips with a pizza cutter.

Roll out each piece of dough into a snake and then drape over your forefinger and twist the dough. (*SEE NOTE BELOW!*) Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining 11 pieces of dough. Try to space them evenly, but it's okay if they're close; pulling apart hot bread is one of life's greatest pleasures!

Cover pan and allow dough to rise for another 30 minutes. When there's about 15 minutes to go, preheat your oven to 425. When done rising, bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Rub some butter on top of the breadsticks (just put a ziploc bag on your hand, grab some softened butter, and have at it) and sprinkle with garlic bread seasoning (see below)
 or the powdery Parmesan cheese in a can and garlic salt. Or you could sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.

*NOTE! I am ashamed to admit that this step really confused me in the explanation. Maybe I had a dumb blond moment or something or maybe it is confusing to you too and I don't have to feel so badly. When it says to drape it over your forefinger and twist what you are doing is putting your forefinger in the middle of the snake you just rolled so that you have two sides hanging on either side of your finger. Then take the two ends and twist them together. This will make those extra long snakes much shorter and give you the beautiful twisted look that makes these breadsticks so esthetically pleasing. I found that my dough continually stretched if I didn't leave it on the table to twist it instead of handing it in midair.

Garlic Bread Seasoning
Recipe from OurBestBites.com

1/2 c. powdered Parmesan cheese

2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp. parsley

Combine ingredients in a jar (preferably one with a sprinkle top) and shake. Sprinkle on top of breadsticks or combine 1 1/2 Tbsp. seasoning with 1/2 c. of softened real butter and spread on a loaf of French bread (cut in 1/2 lengthwise). Wrap in foil and bake at 375 until butter's melted. If you want, you could also pop it open-faced under the broiler for a few minutes so it gets brownish and crispy.

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