Herby Breadsticks

If you’re under 50 years old in North America, in this day and age, you’ve probably had your fair share of fast food. While those days are long behind me, it was a long transition period. You don’t go from pizza delivery to homemade chicken stock overnight.
I would start by looking at certain things that I could do myself that were sort of “reverse engineering” of fast food items. My family always made pizza growing up so that wasn’t too big of a barrier. I can knead dough with my eyes closed (and it’s quite relaxing to do so. You should try it 😉 ).
Whenever you order pizza, they’re always trying to add on things like wings or drinks or breadsticks. While I think the idea of breadsticks are rather redundant with pizza, it’s nice as a lighter option when you don’t want pizza at home.
I’ve toyed with little twisted versions over the years and my lady worked at a pizza place in her past, so she has a hunger for a style that more resembles focaccia sticks. Both start with a basic dough and how you play with them is the difference.
Little twisty breadsticks involve rolling out a sheet of dough, spreading it with herbed oil/butter, cut into strips, each strip rolled into long tubes and curved into a horseshoe. Like so:

HorseshoeDough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then You simply twist the horseshoe into a cool enclosed helix. Pinch the ends and leave it to rise.

TwistyDough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other method, is just to press some dough into a square cake pan like you would focaccia and let it rise. Just before putting it in the oven, score the breadsticks, brush with the herbed oil/butter and you’re good to go. Super simple!!
In the end, the way you do them is up to you. The twisty method is a little more chewy while the flat focaccia-like method is softer. Either way serve it with your favourite dip. Traditionally it’s a tub of marinara, but I love them with my Caramelized Onion Dip or if I don’t make my own, I buy from good people who make things the right way, like the Spicy Feta dip from Theo’s Greek Kouzina. Yum! Enjoy!!

Herby Breadsticks
Recipe type: Appetizer
 
Ingredients
For the Dough:
  • 2 cups red fife wheat flour (or whole wheat bread flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
For the Herb and Garlic Butter Baste:
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cold pressed oil
Instructions
For the Dough:
  1. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a depression in the centre. Add the warm water, yeast and brown sugar. Stir the yeast, water and sugar together and allow to sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast is bubbly and frothy. Start to stir the dry ingredients into the bubbly middle and when you get a soft dough that is just holding together, turn it out of the bowl on to the counter and knead until the dough is only slightly sticky. Place in a bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for 75-90 minutes (the whole wheat flour needs extra time to rise).
For the Herb and Garlic Butter Baste:
  1. Place the oil and garlic in a cold pan. Turn the heat to medium high. As the garlic just starts to sizzle, add the butter and dried oregano. When the butter is three quarters of the way melted, take off the heat to allow the residual heat in the pan to melt it the rest of the way. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature. This also hydrates the dried oregano and blooms its flavour immensely.
To make the Herby Breadsticks (Twisty Version):
  1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Divide the risen dough into two dough balls. Roll out one ball of dough into a 30cm/12" x 60cm/24" rectangle. Brush the surface of the dough lightly with the Herb and Garlic Butter Baste. Cut the dough into 2cm/1" strips. Roll each strip into tubes. Curve each tube into a horseshoe shape. Twist each horseshoe shape into twisty shapes. Pinch the open seam closed and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining strips of dough. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Serve with your favourite dip.
To make the Herby Breadsticks (Quick Focaccia-like Version):
  1. Take the other half of the dough prepared above and press it into a lightly oiled 25cm/10" square cake pan. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for 40-45 minutes.
  2. When the dough has risen, score the dough lightly with a sharp knife into 2cm/1" wide strips, not cutting through the dough completely. Brush with some of the Herb and Garlic Butter Baste and bake in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes. Take out of the oven, remove from the pan and cut the dough through completely into completed breadsticks. Serve with your favourite dip.