I really wasn’t sure what to call this post.
Seedy breadsticks? No, that’s weird.
So, everything breadsticks it is. That way, it covers both the seeded, “everything” topping and the fact that these breadsticks turned out to be, well, all sorts of shapes. Mostly flat. Just how we used to think the Earth was.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of baking yourself a batch of homemade breadsticks, now is the time. Not only is it insanely easy, but they’re immensely more flavorful and more delicious than those nasty things you get wrapped up in between the stale dinner rolls at townie restaurants. Though I used to devour those, let’s not re-live that.
I can’t really describe how these breadsticks came to be. You see, I intended to make long, round, soft breadsticks and ended up with semi-long, flat, crunchy-soft breadsticks. Not that I’m disappointed, but the experiment didn’t really turn out as planned. Still, they are mighty tasty. There’s a hint of crunch and chew in every bite, and the seeded topping gives it almost a bagel-y, rye bread-like flavor. Hard to explain, I know. Just try them for yourself.
If you’re not into the whole “everything” seeded/semi-long/flat/crunchy-soft version of breadsticks, I’ve included multiple methods below. Just bear in mind that, even if they don’t turn out the way you initially wanted them to, they still might be perfect for you — as is the case with most things in life.
Adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread
Yields: An undefinable amount of breadsticks (but I’d say more than 5 and less than 50, to be safe)
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
Breadstick toppings of your choice (I used the King Arthur Flour Artisan Bread Topping I’ve used before, but poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic salt and/or paprika work well, too)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in warm water, sugar and yeast, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Then, pour in olive oil, mix until just combined and then knead with the dough hook attachment or by hand on a lightly floured counter for about 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a bowl lightly covered in olive oil, roll the dough around to cover it in oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let dough rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Once dough is risen, preheat oven to desired temperature (300 to 325 degrees F for hard, crunchy breadsticks; 400 to 425 degrees F for soft, chewy breadsticks). Using a rolling pin, roll out dough into a rectangle shape to desired thickness. Using a pizza cutter, slice dough into breadstick shapes (see photo above for example). If you want toppings, lightly spray the breadsticks with water and sprinkle with toppings. You can leave the breadsticks as is (which is what I did), or you can stretch out the breadsticks to make them longer, or twist them into shapes. Once shaped, place them on a baking stone or parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until crispy (if desired) or just until golden brown (if you want soft breadsticks).
Allow to cool 5 minutes before eating.