Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, nothing can beat these Garlic Breadsticks from heaven!
Friday, 14th February. When everyone was busy cuddling with their loved ones, I was at home baking these delicious garlic breadtsticks and I think I still had more fun than they did. I know bread making is the most dreadful task one can think off but surprisingly it wasn’t that difficult. Actually, it wasn’t difficult at all. All you really need is patience and good quality yeast. If you have these then you’re almost there.
I had originally planned to make only twisty breadsticks but I couldn’t help but make myself some cheezy garlic breadsticks too. It’s the same bread only shaped differently and topped with cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Now that I come to think of it, I can make endless number of breads and pizza bases with this dough. It really is a full proof recipe and not at all difficult. All you really do is mix flour, salt, olive oil and a little sugar together and add in lukewarm water with proofed yeast. You knead these together until the dough is springy to touch and then let it rest for 1-2 hours. Believe me you do not need a mixer, you are very much capable of kneading this bread by hands. For a good bread you don’t need a mixer, what you need is high quality yeast. Yeast is what makes your bread rise, if it isn’t good enough you’ll end with a cooked blob of flour. Use only the highest quality yeast you can find. No compromises. After the resting time is over the dough should’ve doubled in size. I took pictures of my before and after dough, you can see below that my dough has doubled in size. At this point the you have to punch the dough to release the air and then let it rest for another 10 minutes before baking it.
Once the dough has rested you have to roll it out on a lightly floured surface and then brush it with melted butter mixed with chopped roasted garlic, sprinkle salt and pepper and cut stripes. To twist the bread strips, overlap one end of the strip onto the other and lightly press it. Now twist both the ends at the same time (one clockwise and the other anti clockwise) to give it that look. You can see below that I made strips with only half of the dough, with the other half I made a flat style loaf, much like Domino’s. No need to fold this one over, place it on the baking tray with butter garlic brushed side on top.
You can skip making the flat loaf and only go with the strips or not twist the strips. It is completely up to you! You can try any shape you like, sky is the limit, literally! You can also load the twisty breadsticks with lots of cheese or skip it all together. Bake the breadsticks and dip them in melted butter to experience Nirvana.
Once the bread is baked, sprinkle lots of mozzarella and cheddar cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the top has browned to your liking. The bread had a perfectly crisp crust and chewy center. All I can say is the satisfaction of eating a homemade is bread is incomparable. I know I say that for a lot of things but this time I really mean it.
Makes: 28 sticks or 4 flat style loafs
(you can freeze half the dough if you don’t fancy making so many at once)
Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes (including dough resting time)
Baking Time: 20 minutes + 5 minutes for the cheese to brown (optional)
For the dough:
- Active Dry Yeast, 2 1/4 teaspoons
- Lukewarm Water, 1 1/3 cup* (or 360 ml)
- All Purpose Flour, 3 1/2 cups (or 440 grams)
- Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons**
- Salt, 1 teaspoon
- Sugar, 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon
For the toppings (for half the dough):
- Melted butter, 60 grams (and extra for dipping if you like)
- Garlic bulb, 1 medium
- Cheese, 1/2 cup grated (mozzarella and cheddar mixed) ***
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
*Make sure the water is lukewarm and not hot. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast, if its not too warn the yeast won’t wake up. It has to be just right. To make sure the water is the perfect temperature, warm it up and stick your finger in it. If you can keep your finger in the water comfortably then go ahead and add the yeast but if it feels hot to touch and you can’t hold your finger in the water for more than a few seconds, wait until it cools down a bit.
**If you’re out of olive oil, you can use vegetable oil instead.
*** Cheese is completely optional, if you like you can even add a little Parmesan.
1. To Make the Dough:
- The first step in making the dough is proofing the yeast. If you’re using instant yeast you can skip this step. Pour the lukewarm water in a jar and add in 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, mix until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, sprinkle yeast over it and stir vigorously until the yeast is somewhat dissolved. Cover the jar with plastic wrap for 10 minutes and keep aside. After 10 minutes you will notice that the surface of the water will be foamy, this means the yeast is active and ready to be used.
- In a bowl, add in the flour, salt, olive oil, 1 tablespoon sugar and mix. Slowly add in the yeast water until you form a ball of dough. Toss the dough out on a floured surface and knead for 7-8 minutes or until the dough is springy to touch, meaning if you poke the dough it springs back slowly. If it doesn’t spring back, knead it until it does.
- Lightly coat the dough with oil and place it in a large bowl lightly coated with oil too. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. This time can vary depending upon the quality of the yeast used, mine took around 1 hour 10 minutes. Whilst the dough is resting, roast the garlic.
2. To Roast the Garlic:
Slice off the top of the garlic (the hairy part) and drizzle olive oil over the exposed cloves. Sprinkle salt and pepper and roast at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes or until it is lightly browned. Take out the garlic and peel it when it cools down a bit. The insides will be very soft, chop them very finely and mix with melted butter and keep aside
3. To Make the Breadsticks:
- When the dough has doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap and punch the dough down to release the air (the most fun part of baking bread). Divide into two balls and place them in separate bowls, cover and keep aside for 10 minutes. At this point you can decide to either use both the balls or freeze one and use one later. Freezing and thawing details are given at the end of the recipe.
- Preheat oven at 180 degree Celsius for 15 minutes and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Take one ball out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out until about 2/3rd of an inch thick. Generously brush the melted butter roasted garlic mixture all over the dough surface, sprinkle salt and pepper and cut into strips, overlap and twist them . You can use half to make flat loaf style garlic breadsticks (details given above with pictures).
- Bake the breadsticks at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes. If it doesn’t brown on top after 20 minutes, switch off the bottom grill and move the bread to the bottom shelf of the oven and switch on the top grill or roast mode for 4-5 minutes. When you see the top browning slightly take the breadsticks out.
- For Cheesy Flat loaf Style Breadsticks: After you take out the flat loaf garlic bread from the oven, cut it into strips and push the strips close to each other, load it with grated cheese and roast only the top for 4-5 minutes or until the cheese browns a bit.
Devour the goodness of this fresh homemade garlic bread, enjoy it with melted butter. I brush some on top after the bread has been baked and also dip the bread in it.
Freezing and Thawing : If you decide to save half of the dough to be enjoyed later, simply coat it with oil lightly and place it in a ziplock or airtight bag and freeze until required. You can freeze the dough for upto 3 months. You can freeze the baked breadsticks for 2 months. Thaw: Transfer the frozen dough ball bag from the freezer to the refrigerator and keep it there overnight or for 12 hours. When you’re ready to bake the breadsticks, place them outside on the kitchen counter 30 minutes before baking or until it reaches room temp. Continue with “To make the breadsticks” (step 3 from Preheat the oven).
Write to me for any queries!
This recipe has been adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.