Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Alyssa's Better than Perfect Breadsticks

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch or join us as our family of 6 learns to eat on $6/day.

A few months ago, we had some good friends over for dinner. We made pizza and they brought breaksticks. The breadsticks totally upstaged the pizza.

Fortunately, I know these are true friends because they gave me the recipe. So now I can upstage myself. Because these are perfect. Better than perfect. Better than any breadstick you've ever had from any pizza place. Much better. And they're not even hard to make, although they do require an hour to an hour and a half of foresight. I realize that can be a challenge. Do it anyway.

Alyssa's Better than Perfect Breadsticks
Makes 27
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Rise time: about 45 minutes, though I fell asleep during the rise, so mine rose longer.
Cost: $1.15
(flour: .28, butter: .40, cheese: .40, other stuff: .07 (just to keep it even))

2 C water
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
4 C flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
6-8 Tbsp butter
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese (you can even get away with the powdery kind here)
1 clove garlic, minced
2-4 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
In a bowl place water, yeast and sugar. Mix and let stand for about 3 minutes. Add salt and just enough flour (about 3 C) that the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl.
Take the dough out and knead in another 1/2-1 C flour. This will take 4-5 minutes. If it gets too sticky too keep kneading add a dusting more of flour. But. The dough will remain loose and sticky--looser and stickier than it does for regular bread. Like this...See how it's loose with a sticky edge...

When it gets to looking like the picture above, dust it with a bit of flour and put it back in the blow to rise. Let rise in bowl till doubled in size (30-45 minutes).

Grease a jelly roll pan with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil--be generous--you want it not just to act as a de-sticker, but to add flavor to the breadsticks.

Roll dough out on pan. Try to get it to the edges.

Mix 6 Tbsp melted or very soft butter with the 1/4 C Parmesan cheese and the minced garlic.

With a pizza cutter, score the bread with 3 lines along the short way and about nine lines the long way.

You may notice that I don't have the butter/cheese/garlic on all my breadsticks. That's because my kids are ingrates. I assure you that I mean that in the nicest possible way. But seriously, why waste my buttery cheesiness on people who will whine and complain that they want me to take it off?

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until golden. About 15 minutes into the baking time, add the shredded cheddar.

Let them cool and tear them apart. Look at the perfect insides. Just look at them. 

Dip them in your favorite sauce. We used a marinara, but I think pesto would have been really good too. And Kip likes ranch. Of course, I ate a whole bunch plain as well. 

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