I almost didn’t post this recipe. I mean… let’s look at the photos. Ahem. Not my best work (breadsticks are REALLY REALLY not easy to photograph, you guys. Just saying).
But can you believe that there is only one other recipe for breadsticks on this blog, you know, the blog about bread? And believe it or not, the photos of those breadsticks are even worse (I’ll let you forage for that evidence if you dare).
But what we lack here in breadstick glamour shots is made up for in a recipe for garlic butter breadsticks that will blow. your. mind. And your tastebuds. That, at least, I can deliver.
The recipe for these breadsticks actually comes at the request of a reader (hi, Nancy!) but it’s also been on that “Must Bake” list I allude to every now and then, which truthfully only exists partially in my head, in chicken scratch on random dates in my planner and practically in Morse code in my phone’s notes. I scroll through the list and read things like, “CP wed soup”, “ice cream from MEC”, “pump bagels”, all of which will hopefully make their way to the blog this year and thus be fully decoded. But for these breadsticks, the note was “MAKE BREADSTICKS ALREADY,” so the calling was clear. Nancy really just was the final push for me to get my bum in the kitchen and make those breadsticks already. So thanks, Nancy.
I didn’t really say much about this in my last post of 2015 and that’s because I didn’t feel like ending the year with such, well, negativity, but I am in a rut. Again. Yes. Is this the way of the creatives? That we trod and trod and trod our way through our work only to be burned out again and again and again? Or am I just extra-sensitive to this? What I am trying to say is: 2015 for me and this blog was a tumult of emotions. I’m not proud of how often I let comparison rob me of the joy that I otherwise have when I blog, but it got to me, and it got to me a lot. I felt emptied, excluded, defeated, frustrated and worn out.
And what’s so ironic about that is that I ended the year with the highest number of visitors I’ve ever had come to the blog. I should only be elated. And let me be clear — I AM. I am so elated. Don’t let this come across like I am not insanely grateful for each and every reader who comes to this humble little space of mine to see my recipes and comment on them and actually make them. How I am like a proud mama when I see your posts on Instagram of that no-knead Dutch oven bread you finally tackled or those banana cream cookie pies that you topped with your own twist. I love it. It’s why I do this. It’s why I trod and trod and trod, even when I just really don’t want to anymore and I’m ready to fold it all in and call it a day (or six years) and walk away.
At the end of the day, this work is a part of me and I need it. (I also need the carbs, but that’s beside the point.)
To be perfectly honest, I often feel like the source of my burnout is that I’m not sharing what I really want to share here. That I’m not telling you more about what’s going on in my life, behind the bread, beyond the oven. That I’m not posting recipes that I actually want to post, but more recipes that I think you want to see. This recipe is one of those that covers both categories — because I really do love these breadsticks and I thought you would, too. And that happens here often, I promise. But I’m thinking that, from here on out, I need to be even more authentic. That I need to put a little more “real life” me on here. Or maybe not. Basically, I just want to follow my heart and where it leads me in this blog space in 2016, cheesy as that sounds.
And right now, my heart wants these soft, warm, garlicky, buttery breadsticks. Or is that my belly? Hard to tell sometimes.
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
- 3½ to 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- In large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, whisk sugar and yeast into warm water to dissolve. Let mixture sit 10 minutes until yeast is foamy. Add 3½ cups flour, salt and melted butter. Stir until dough forms.
- On lightly floured surface, knead dough by hand 10 minutes, adding just enough remaining flour until smooth, soft and only slightly sticky dough forms; OR, using dough hook of stand mixer, knead dough on medium speed 5 minutes, adding just enough remaining flour until smooth, soft and only slightly sticky dough forms (it should pull away from sides of bowl). Place dough in clean, lightly oiled bowl, turning dough once to coat. Cover bowl with towel or plastic wrap and let dough rise 1 hour until doubled.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Punch down risen dough. Roll dough into 2-foot-long log, then cut dough into 16 equal-sized pieces (about 1½ inches long). Roll each piece into 7 to 8-inch long breadstick shape. Transfer to prepared baking sheets spaced 2 inches apart (about 8 breadsticks per sheet). Cover breadsticks with towel and let rise 30 minutes.
- Brush breadsticks with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Bake 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets as needed, until breadsticks are lightly browned and baked through.* Once baked, brush with remaining 2 tablespoons butter, then sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, garlic powder and oregano.
- *NOTE: If desired, place fully baked breadsticks under the broiler for a few minutes to give them an even deeper golden brown color.