Thursday, December 10, 2009

Really Good Breadsticks (and pizza dough)

I got this recipe from a friend in Virginia several years ago.  Her name is Jill and I pretty much want to be her when I grow up.  :)  These breadsticks are fantastic.  They are super easy and are very versatile.  We also use this recipe for pizza dough every Friday night.  I use my Kitchen Aid mixer which makes these super simple.  If you don't have a mixer, they are still easy.  I'll put the non-mixer directions at the bottom.  Also, you can use 1/2 wheat flour and 1/2 white flour and they still taste pretty good, but I wouldn't use all wheat flour.  I've tried and they are not good...if you are making breadsticks, you aren't really going for healthy anyway, so you might as well enjoy them.  :)

Breadsticks (or pizza dough)

1 1/2 cups really warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 cups white flour
garlic salt
parmesan cheese
mozzerella cheese
melted butter

1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.

2.  Mix the yeast and sugar together in the bottom of your mixer bowl.  Add water and stir to dissolve sugar and yeast.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes, until mixture starts to become frothy. 

3.  Add flour and salt all at once.  Using the dough hook on speed 2, mix for 3 1/2 minutes.  (The time and speed may be different for a Bosch mixer.  I have never used one, so I don't know how they work.)  Let dough rest in bowl for 10 minutes.

4.  Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  Remove dough from mixer (underside of dough will be very sticky, so put it directly on the cookie sheet.  Then you don't have to mess with the stickiness) and place on prepared cookie sheet.  Using a rolling pin or your hands, roll the dough out so that it covers the cookie sheet completely.

5.  Spread a thin layer of melted butter on top of dough.  Sprinkle with garlic salt, parmesan cheese, and mozzerella cheese.

6.  Using a pizza roller, cut the dough into whatever size sticks you like.  When they are done baking, you can just roll over it again with your pizza cutter and they come right out.

7.  No need to let them rise.  Bake at 375F for 18-20 minutes.  Just until the cheese on top starts to lightly brown.

Pizza:  If you are using this dough for pizza, follow directions through step 4.  Then spread with pizza sauce and whatever toppings you want.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the cheese starts to lightly brown.  This makes a thick dough--sort of like deep dish.  We LOVE it.

By hand:  If you are making this dough by hand, follow steps 1 and 2, then add the flour and salt all at once.  Stir in as much as you can.  Once you can't stir anymore, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it, adding more flour as necessary, to get a soft, smooth, elastic dough.  It should probably take about 5 minutes.  You know it is done when it springs back a bit if you poke it with 2 fingers.  Then follow directions above.

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