I love, love, love this recipe. It really is easy and it's fairly quick, as far as bread goes. And, finally, I think I have it just about right. At least, right enough to share.
So...here we go...
Please note, if you are looking at the pictures and find yourself thinking, "Hmmm, that looks like she used too much!" it's ok. You can lay your worries aside. I was doubling the recipe so that I could show the 2 variations on the recipe.
Start the party with 1 Tablespoon of Yeast and 1 Tablespoon of sugar.
I wonder if the sugar knows it is there to be eaten? Hmmm...
Add to that 1 1/2 cups of warm water.
Let that sit for a few minutes until the bubbles start to form. That's the party starting!
Add 3 cups of flour (you may need a little more...if it is too sticky, add more) and 1 tsp of salt.
I misread the recipe (and didn't realize it until this very moment) and threw in 1/2 cup (1 stick) of soft butter to the mix. Oops!
But, this batch turned out to be my best yet, so...from now on I'm sticking with that. You don't have to if you don't want to though. (I'll put the correct recipe at the bottom of this post, by the way.)
Mix all of that together until it forms a soft dough. Then, knead it like crazy.
If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, then just let the dough hook do its thing.
It should look like this (I took this picture while the dough hook was spinning! Well, I thought it was exciting.)
If you don't have a stand mixer, then knead it by hand. That's ok too. It just takes a little longer.
I read once, or someone told me once, that dough has been kneaded enough when you can poke two fingers into it and the indents stay.
I'm glad no one has to poke me to see if I'm kneaded enough.
Sorry, friends. I'm tired and when I'm tired the corny jokes and puns pop out. It's part of who I am and I've learned to live with it.
Now, this part isn't in the recipe, but I have found that the breadsticks turn out better if they are given more time to rise. Set the dough to rise for about 15 to 20 minutes, enough that the indents disappear. I turn my oven on and set the metal bowl on the stove top. The warm bowl and the warm oven make for good rising.
Now that it has risen, take 1/2 a cup of butter (see, I should have waited and used it here instead of throwing it in the mixer. But, no regrets...it was a happy mistake) and put it on a cookie sheet.
I always cover my pans with foil...it's easier to clean up.
Put the pan and the butter in a 350 degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes...until it is melted.
Then, take it out and sprinkle a good amount of garlic salt or powder over the melted butter.
Take your dough, punch it down and put it on a floured surface. Roll it flat (about 1/2 inch thick).
I have no idea why this rolled out in such a funny shape. It looks like it has some kind of weird growth. At least it still tastes good!
Get a pizza cutter (it works waaaaaay better than a knife) and cut the dough into breadstick-size sections.
Now, take each section and stretch it out a little (the dough is super soft and stretchy, so it should do that pretty easily as you pick it up), fold it in half and twist it. Roll each twist in the butter.
Once you have all the pieces rolled, sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese (if you so choose) and let them rise again for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Pop them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Pull them out and enjoy some fantastic, soft, and delicious breadsticks!
Um, don't forget about them like I did, though. They still taste good, but they aren't as good when they are overcooked. Word to the wise.
If you are more in the mood for cinnamon twists, make the same dough, let it rise the same, and melt the butter on the pan the same. BUT, don't put garlic powder on the butter.
When you roll out the dough, before you cut it, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar.
Cut it, fold it, and twist it just the same as you did the breadsticks. Roll them in the butter and bake 'em up.
I didn't forget about these ones! (I have my priorities straight.)
If you are so inclined, mix some powdered sugar and milk and vanilla together (for the right proportions, check allrecipes.com. I kind of just wing it.) and drizzle it over the top while they're still warm.
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted.
Garlic salt or powder
Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water. Add flour and salt. Mix all ingredients together. Knead for 8 minutes.
Pour melted butter evenly over a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with garlic salt or powder. Roll dough out 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 1/2- to 1-inch thick strips. Roll strips in butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Let rise 10 to 15 minutes. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
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