One thing that 2020 brought me is time, more time at home with my family, more time to try new things in the kitchen, things I may have been too busy to try before. Baking bread is a great example of this. I had always wanted to bake bread, but it needs time, so it was on a to do list, but I never quite got around to it.
But now, I love baking bread, I love how easy it is, I love the aroma of fresh bread wafting through the house. I love that when all I need to go to the shops for is to buy bread, I don't bother, I just bake it. I now have a few bread recipes that my family love, and I just make it.
These are called Olive Garden Breadsticks in the recipe that I found, but as I have never tried Olive Garden Breadsticks, I didn't want to use that name.
Although these are best eaten warm, they do keep really well for the next day.
I have added the option of 1-2 tablespoons sugar, you adjust the sweetness to your liking, I prefer it with one tablespoon, but they are delicious even with two tablespoons.
These are easy to make, a deliciously soft and fluffy, my family love them, hope yours do to.
Makes 12 breadsticks
1 cup and 2 tablespoons warm water
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1-2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons oil
3-3 1/4 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoons garlic salt or 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let sit 5-10 minutes, or until foamy. Add the salt, oil, and two cups of flour, and mix until combined. Add additional flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is soft and only slightly sticky to the touch.
Knead the dough until smooth, sprinkling with flour as needed to make the dough manageable. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let rise one hour, or until doubled.
After the dough has risen, punch it down gently and divide it into 12 equal sized balls. Roll each ball out into a 22cm rope, and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Repeat with remaining dough, using two baking sheets. Cover and let rise one hour.
During the last ten minutes of rise time, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan forced. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and brush with melted butter, then sprinkle with garlic salt. (If using fresh garlic, chop it finely and add it to the butter while it is melting to infuse the garlic flavour into the butter, then brush it on the breadsticks).
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