Current WIP: Cheesy Breadsticks
In the midst of focusing on my ascent into domestic-goddesshood (no spell check, it’s not an official word), I’ve rediscovered my absolute love of freshly baked bread. On Memorial Day, my husband was showing off his culinary skills (which far surpass mine) and made an amazing pasta sauce that included spinach and other amazing healthy and delicious things. Not to be outdone, I pulled out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook (Anthony needs no such trappings) and decided I’d tweak her classic Focaccia recipe into cheesy breadsticks to go along with our fantastic Italian feast.
All this was inspired by several Olive Garden commercials during “Knocked Up”. When poor and unable to afford restaurants, improvise! Enjoy, and tell me about your favorite creative at-home restaurant experience! And then, if you haven’t already, check out my friend M. Christine Weber’s site for more awesome recipes!
Dani’s Cheesy Breadsticks
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 T. Italian seasoning
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
2 1/4 t. yeast
1 T. olive oil
1 c. warm water (between 120 and 130 degrees)
lots of grated Parmesan
garlic salt (fresh pressed garlic if you have it; I didn’t)
1. Mix 1 cup of flour with the Italian seasoning, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Add oil and warm water and beat for 3 minutes scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough flour until dough is soft and leaves sides of bowl (this is a feeling thing, not an exact measure. I add the flour 1/2 cup at a time until it looks right)
2. Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and springy. Pour a little olive oil into the mixing bowl and return dough to the bowl, coating throughly with the olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes (Start making pasta sauce now… and this was when Anthony and I had our first adult beverage of the evening).
3. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll and shape each into a long flat rope. Push Parmesan cheese and garlic salt into the middle of each and then twist. Set on an olive oil-coated cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Allow breadsticks to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Set oven to 425.
4. Remove plastic wrap. Add more cheese to the top (because there is no such thing as too much cheese) before popping them in the oven for 10-12 minutes. You’ll smell them when they are ready! Watch out, though! They smell so good, you might burn your mouth trying to eat them before they’re cool! =)