I have been on a bread baking spree lately. Not all of my experiments make it to the blog. Some of them go straight into the trash can. Some just sit on the counter top because they are, well, blah! Not bad but not very exciting either. But some, like this recipe, shoot straight to the top of my list of (current) favorites.
Who knew baking breadsticks was going to be this easy? Not only are they easy, they’re quick (by bread baking standards), they lend themselves well to experimentation and they make a great all day snack!
I used Paul Hollywood’s Olive Breadsticks recipe. The only change I made was to swap out the olives for sun dried tomatoes and garlic. They’re glorious! I am sure they will work just as great with any other flavor of your choosing, should you decide to experiment.
On a side note – I urge you to buy a cheap kitchen scale, if you haven’t already. They are more precise than measuring cups and mise en place is so much easier!
- Bread flour – 500 grams
- Salt – 10 grams
- Instant yeast – 10 grams
- Warm water – 400 ml
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp
- Sun dried tomatoes in oil – 150 grams roughly chopped
- Garlic puree – 1 and 1/2 to 2 tbsp
- Fine semolina – for dusting optional
- Take a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer if you have one. Add the bread flour. Add the salt to one side of the bowl and the instant yeast to the other side of the bowl. Make sure they do not mix just yet as the salt will kill the yeast
- Make sure your water is between 110 to 115 F. Add 3/4th of the water to the flour. Using a mixer with the dough hook attached start mixing on low speed
- Once the dough has come together add the rest of the water in and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes. The dough will be quite wet and very stretchy
- Add the olive oil to the dough and mix for two minutes. Then add the sun dried tomatoes and garlic and run the mixer till the are thoroughly mixed in. The garlic will smell a little pungent but will mellow out after it is baked
- Oil a 2 to 3 liter capacity rectangular or square plastic container. Make sure it has a lid. Put the dough into the container. Close the lid and leave it in a warm place to rise. The dough should triple in size. This takes about an hour
- Dust your work surface generously with semolina and little flour. Gently tip the risen dough onto this surface making sure not to handle it too much. Don’t knock any air out of the dough. Dust the surface of the dough with more semolina and flour. Gently nudge the dough into a rough rectangle without flattening it – you need all the air in the dough to stay intact
- Line 3 baking trays with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 425 F or 220 degree Celsius
- Starting at the short edge and with a bench scraper or sharp knife cut the dough into 18 to 20 strips. As you cut each strip roll it gently in the semolina and flour on the work surface. This makes it easier to handle as this dough is very tender and stretchy.
- Transfer each piece to the parchment lined trays and space them about an inch apart. You can take the help of the bench scraper or a wide spatula to do this. The dough will stretch a bit while you transfer it but that is okay. Just make sure all the breadsticks are more or less of the same length before baking
- Bake the breadsticks in a preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes till they turn golden brown
- Cool them on a wire rack till they have cooled down completely.
- Breadsticks are best when eaten fresh on the day they are made. Store them wrapped in foil in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days