Bread sticks are a delicious appetizer, often seen at the table of an Italian restaurant or as a must-have for pizza parties.
Be they soft and chewy or hard and crispy, their taste is beloved, they’re very versatile, and despite their intimidating appearance, the process of making your own isn’t that complex.
You only need a bit of know-how and the right ingredients to make delicious bread sticks of your own.
Here we have two recipes to get you started!
How to Make Bread Sticks
Starting with the more famous and popular variety, chewy bread sticks are also the easiest to make.
In order to do so, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 package of active dry yeast.
- 4 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting.
- 1 ½ cup of warm water.
- 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Save 3 tablespoons for topping the bread sticks.
- 1 tablespoon of fine grain salt.
- ½ teaspoon of flaky kosher salt.
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder.
- A pinch of dried oregano.
Once you have all these gathered, it is time to begin prepping, mixing, and baking.
- You will start by mixing the dough. Pour the warm water into a mixer’s bowl and add the yeast, setting it aside until it begins to foam (about five minutes).
- Start adding the flour, 2 tablespoons of the butter, sugar, fine salt, and the rest of the water before beginning to mix. Stir until a gently sticky dough begins to form (about five minutes total).
- Pour the dough out onto a well-floured surface until a smooth, supple dough forms (around three minutes).
- Roll the dough out into a two-foot-long log and cut into sixteen 1 ½ inch-long pieces.
- Knead each piece slightly, shaping each one into a seven-inch-long bread stick
- Arrange each bread stick, two inches apart, on a parchment-lined baking sheet before covering with a cloth. Place them in the oven – turned off – until they double in size (around forty-five minutes).
- Take the bread sticks out and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees before you mix the topping. Mix the rest of the butter with the ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt.
- Place the bread sticks into the oven and bake until lightly golden (about fifteen minutes).
- While they bake, combine the remaining salt with the garlic powder and oregano.
- Pull out the bread sticks, and while still warm, brush each one with the butter, and sprinkle with the flavored salt.
- All that’s left is to let them cool, and enjoy!
Crispy Rosemary Bread Sticks
On the opposite side of the spectrum, though equally delicious, are crispy bread sticks.
Being more cracker or pretzel-like in texture, these are designed for hearty dips such as fondues or marinara sauce and will require a different set of ingredients and skill in order to make.
Starting with ingredients, you will need the following:
- 2 cups of strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting.
- 2 teaspoons of fast action yeast (1 package).
- 2 teaspoons of salt.
- 1 ½ cups of water.
- 10-12 sprigs of fresh rosemary.
- 1 tablespoon sea salt (for extra flavor, use smoked sea salt).
- Olive oil for greasing the bowl and pan.
- (Optional) Semolina flour, for dusting.
Once you have these together, it is time to begin cooking!
- Start by greasing a bowl or plastic container with the olive oil.
- Pour the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer, and add the salt and yeast. Pour in most of the water, reserving around ¼ a cup, and begin to mix with the dough hook attachment.
- If the dough is looking too dry, add the rest of the water and continue mixing for about five minutes at medium speed.
- Add the olive oil and continue to mix further.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it becomes less wet and more elastic.
- Strip the rosemary from the sprig and add to the dough to taste, while mixing until the rosemary is fully incorporated.
- Add the rosemary dough to the oiled bowl and cover with a towel, letting it rest and rise for two hours – or until it has doubled in size.
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper while the dough proves.
- Once proved, pour the dough onto a floured surface and sprinkle the top of it with more flour.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle, but avoid flattening it completely.
- With a sharp knife, cut the dough into fifteen, equally-sized sticks.
- Place them on the prepared baking pans, and sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to prove for thirty minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake the bread sticks for twelve minutes, or until they are light gold in color.
- Transfer them to a cooling rack and serve.
- For storage, place them in an air-tight Tupperware box. They will last for up to a month.
Here’s a video showing another variation – garlic cheese bread sticks.
Bread sticks are a staple in Italian food, and are a delicious baking project for anyone.
With this article, you will be able to make your very own!