Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Soft Italian Bread Sticks


At school, we always do a buffet on Wednesdays and this week we are having an italian themed lunch. Like every week, everyone is split into teams. This week I am on the 'prep' team which basically means, we will be doing a lot of the prep work for some of the more complicated dishes.

Right before we broke for lunch, I was told that I would be working on making bread sticks. Ok, my luck with bread is not always the best but I am up for any challenge. I saw the recipe that the teacher picked out and knew there was no way we would have it done in time. Between the prep time and 'rise' time the recipe said it would take 3+ hours. No way!

I told one of my fellow students/partner in crime that we had to find another recipe so I started searching. I found one and we tried it but it did not come out as good as I thought it should have. Of course, our spot in the kitchen had alot to do with it, and we did not use the proofer.

We went ahead, let them rise and put them in the oven. They were not the prettiest but they had great flavor. I then came home to try my own with a few alterations. Here is the recipe, just for you! :)

Soft Italian Bread Sticks

Makes 18 bread sticks

Ingredients:

1 cup - warm water
3 tbsp - soft butter
1 1/2 tsp - salt
2 1/2 cups - bread flour
2 tbsp - sugar
1 tsp - italian seasonings
1 tsp - garlic powder
2 1/4 tsp - active dry yeast

Topping:

1 tbsp - butter, melted
1 tbsp - grated parmesan cheese

First, place the yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar together; mix well. (This will become a little frothy).

Next place the flour, salt, italian seasoning, garlic powder and butter together in a large mixing bowl. I make a well in this and add the yeast mixture. Gently mix together using a fork until the liquid is absorbed.

Now I remove the dough from the bowl and knead with my hands. Knead for about 5 minutes. The dough should be nice and elastic. Divide the dough in half. Cut each half into 8 separate pieces.

Roll each piece of dough into a 7 or 8 inch rope. Place these about 2 inches apart, onto a lightly greased baking sheet.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until the bread sticks turn a nice golden brown.

Remove from the oven; Immediately brush with butter and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Then enjoy!

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HINTS:

If its cool in your house, try placing a 9 x 13 inch pan of steaming water in your oven, below you baking sheet. This will help your dough to rise.

These really turned out great and I hope the teachers and students will enjoy them tomorrow. I think this dough would be great for pizza too! We do homemade pizza a lot around here and I will definately be using this recipe for it.

Enjoy and be sure to let me know how it turns out! I love hearing back from you!

Stay warm,

Debbie



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