September 06

French Loaf Breadsticks

If I have a food addiction, it’s to salty, bread-like things. I love bread, crackers, and to an extent (as far as salty, bread-like things go), potato chips. I’d wither and die a little on the inside if I ever had to cut them out of my diet entirely. I may have mentioned this before. I’m not really sure. Sometimes I feel like I repeat myself on here. Regardless if I have or have not said so, bread is my feel-good food, especially when it’s warm out of the oven.

I used to be content to have Pillsbury brand breadsticks (you know, the kind in the blue can that pops when you unpeel the label and makes you crap your pants every single time), and I even have an unopened can in the fridge that I was hoping to do something fun and quick with in the future. But nothing beats fresh baked bread. Nothing. You can argue with me all you like, especially about the part that deals with having to spend ungodly amount of time futzing with the dough (and waiting for it) that seemingly takes the fun/enjoyment out of the process, but bread you make yourself is delightful.

This particular recipe was something I stumbled upon at the end of last year, after receiving a bake-book (what is the proper term for a cookbook for baked goods? Is it still just a cookbook? Can I officially coin bake-book as my invention?) and had made at that time. The photographs of the result were subpar and now having some better skills and not using a point and shoot camera, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to revisit the recipe to match up with my spaghetti dinner.

French Loaf Breadsticks

Source:  Taste of Home Baking (Crusty French Bread)
makes 8 hefty breadsticks

Ingredients

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons canola/vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 to 3 1/4 all-purpose flour
cornmeal
1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water

2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Directions

1) In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Beat until blended. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.

2) Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; return to bowl. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

3) Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. Shape into mini, skinny loaves with tapered ends. Sprinkle a greased baking sheet with cornmeal; place each breadstick on the baking sheet, about 1″ apart. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.

4) Beat egg white and cold water; brush over dough. With a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes 2″ apart across top of the breadsticks. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. The tops of the breadsticks should start to yellow, but not quite golden in color. Remove from the oven and brush on melted butter mixed with garlic powder. Return to oven and bake until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.

For those using a KitchenAid:

1) Dissolve yeast in warm water. In the KitchenAid bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Beat on speed 2 until it starts to form a flaky dough. Add the oil slowly. Adding ingredients too quickly will cause the liquid to pool and take longer to blend. Add the remainder of the flour in small doses until a stiff dough forms. I ended up using 3/4 of a cup of flour on top of the 2 that were originally put in.

2) Follow the rest of the directions above.

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