Hubby and I were discussing my online friends a few days ago. I know some people think it's weird to consider people friends when you've never met them in real life, but...I do. It's just so nice to have people to talk to who understand a comment like, "I love this dough; it's so beautiful!" or who have answers to the question "I need to bake something fancy right now; what should I make?"
Besides, these days, I would bet that at least 50% of our meals come from my friends: either recipes they post or recipes they suggest. Case in point: Di's daughter was home sick the other day, and Di decided to make Farmhouse Chicken Chowder from Cook's Country. What?! A quick Cook's Country soup that I hadn't tried yet? I put it on the menu immediately.
Of course we needed bread to go with the soup, and I suddenly started thinking of soft, buttery, garlicy bread sticks. Yep, that's what I wanted. I looked everywhere; I scoured all of my cookbooks, all of my go-to cooking sites, but couldn't find anything that looked right, only crunchy grissini or pizza sticks.
And then this morning, I thought of Frieda. Sure enough, she had not one, but two soft bread stick recipes! I loved the look of the twisty ones, but the melt-in-your-mouth soft texture of the buttery bread sticks looked exactly like what I wanted. So I compromised...I used the buttery bread sticks ingredient list (with some white whole wheat flour) with the twisty technique.
The result? Unbelievably perfect. These were a hit with all four of us, and I loved that I started them at 3:30 and they were finished by 5:30; the only problem was that I only made a half-batch. ;o)
|Hard to get a picture without this little hand in there!|
adapted slightly from Frieda Loves Bread
makes 12 bread sticks
292 g flour (I used half all-purpose and half white whole wheat)
5 g instant yeast
6 g vital wheat gluten
115 g 2% milk
36 g sugar
40 g unsalted butter
3 g salt
melted butter for coating the bread sticks
1. Whisk half of the flour, the yeast, vital wheat gluten, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
2. Combine milk, sugar, and butter, and melt on half-power in your microwave in 30 second increments until the butter is almost melted. Stir until the butter melts. Mix in the egg. (Double check that your liquid isn't too hot; you don't want it above 110º or it may kill your yeast.)
3. Stir the liquid into the flour mixture, and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
4. Add the rest of the flour and mix well. Knead the dough for 3 minutes, or until the dough is soft, smooth, and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap (or just leave it on the counter and put the bowl on top of it) and allow to rise for about 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 375º.
6. On a lightly oiled surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle. Use a pizza wheel to cut into 1" strips. Fold each strip in half and twist it, then place it on a lightly-greased pan. Brush the twists with melted butter and sprinkle them with garlic salt. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
7. Bake at 375º for 12 minutes or until golden (they should register nearly 200º internally). Brush with a little more melted butter because, well, why not! :)