This gal simply cannot wait to get outside. I didn’t realize how much staying inside during the insidious cold was getting to me. But yesterday, the temperature started creeping up ever so slowly, and I was actually able to be outdoors! Ok, maybe it was only 20 degrees, but that’s practically a heat wave! I got to go for a walk (a walk!) and got stuff out on the line to air out. And now, Himself and I plan to take advantage of these near freezing temps this weekend. No sir, you won’t catch me inside. Even now, I can hear the birds chirping and squawking and generally celebrating the relative warmth. Crazy, I know, but there it is. And it’s gorgeous outside. the warm weather brought a little fog with it, and overnight the trees were tipped in a beautiful coating of white. Well played, Mother Nature!
Guys, while I was stuck inside, I went and did something magical. I turned flour and yeast into breadsticks! Ok, maybe not magical but it surely was awesome and delicious. Bread in all it’s myriad forms, is seriously my kryptonite. I can’t turn that down. Seriously, I practically survived on bread alone while I went to school in Africa. Not because the food was bad, nope, because there was delicious, fresh, French bread to be had All. The. Time.
I’ve yet to successfully recreate that delicious bread at home, but these breadsticks are nothing to scoff at. Fresh and hot and buttery? Well, that’s a no brainer. The recipe is as easy as can be, and only calls for six ingredients. The only change that I made was to include some basil that was languishing away in my refrigerator. Chop the basil? Nope, don’t even bother. I simply melted the butter with the whole basil leaves in it. Then let the butter cool slightly with basil. Just remove the leaves before brushing the breadsticks with butter. You get a amazing hint of basil flavor without overpowering the garlicky, buttery goodness. The only downfall to the recipe, is that once you realize how easy these are to make, you’re going to want them with every meal.
For the dough:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
16 ounces (about 3 1/3 to 3 1/2 cups) bread flour
For the topping:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and butter. Add in the salt. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and begin to gradually add the flour on low speed. Increase speed to medium and knead the dough for about 7 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic.
Remove the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Divide the dough into 12 (2 ounce) portions. Roll each piece of dough into a 7-inch log. Place the dough logs on nonstick baking mat or parchment-lined baking sheets, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter. Combine the salt and garlic powder and sprinkle evenly over breadsticks. Serve warm.