Friday, October 2, 2009

Soft Bread Sticks

These were among the bread sticks I have ever made. They were soft and chewy. The recipe comes from the makers of my favorite flour, King Arthur Flour. I seldom buy another brand of flour as I really like their flour. They also have some great cookbooks on baking. I have never tried a recipe of theirs that we did not like. I would say they are the experts in flour. Yes King Arthur flour is more expensive than other brands you can find in the store but it's worth the extra money.

Soft Bread Sticks
King Arthur Flour

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 teaspoons Pizza Dough Flavor, optional
Pizza seasoning or Italian seasoning, to sprinkle on top

1) Lightly grease an 18" x 13" pan (half sheet pan), and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom.

2) Combine all of the ingredients, and beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 60 seconds.

3) Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, spreading it nearly to the edges. Oiling your fingers helps with the job.

4) Use a rolling pizza wheel or knife to score the dough in 3/4" to 1" wide crosswise strips, to make 13"-long strips. Score the dough once lengthwise, so that you now have 6 1/2"-long strips. Cover the pan, and let the dough rise at room temperature for 60 minutes, till it's become puffy.

5) While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.

6) Drizzle the dough lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with pizza seasoning, and/or the dried herbs of your choice, if desired.

7) Bake the bread till it's a very light golden brown, about 25 minutes.

8) Remove it from the oven, and carefully lift it out of the pan onto a rack.

9) As soon as you can handle it, cut the dough along the score lines. A pair of scissors works well here.

10) Place the bread sticks back on their baking pan, on edge. You can put them close together. Return them to the oven, and bake for 5 minutes (for soft bread sticks), or 10 minutes (for bread sticks that can stand up to a stiffer dip).

11) Remove them from the oven, and serve warm, or at room temperature.

Yield: about 3 dozen bread sticks.

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