I smile when I think of Emily baking and cooking because when she was growing up, it was something we did together. Now she has her own home. She and Nick are carrying on our baking-from-scratch tradition.
“The texture was fluffy with a crisp, buttery bottom,” Emily said after tasting the breadsticks. “A delicious, homemade taste that you only get from making it yourself.”
Here are Emily tips for success:
- After kneading with a dough hook in my stand mixer, we decided it was too sticky. We added more flour on a pastry mat and Nick kneaded it by hand.
- It didn't seem like the dough rose at all after 15 minutes, so we gave it a few extra minutes while I grated the cheese. It still didn't look like it rose, so I thought we just had terrible luck with yeast, but when it baked it really rose!
- I used the seasonings on top pretty sparingly and would probably do a little more next time (Italian seasoning and garlic salt).
¼ cup water
1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) active-dry yeast
1 ¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoons salt
3 - 3 ½ cups bread or all-purpose flour (plus additional flour for kneading)
1 stick butter or margarine, melted, divided
8-oz. package mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Warm the water in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Test a drop of water on your wrist to see if the water is warm, not hot. Pour the water into a large bowl (or if using a bread machine, add to bread machine container). Add the yeast; stir. Let sit 5 minutes. Then add milk, sugar, and salt.
Add 1 cup flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the remaining flour gradually to make a soft dough. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Then knead the dough with dough hook (or in bread machine on setting where dough is mixed only, not baked) or on a floured board or pastry mat, by folding a third of the dough away from you, pushing with the heel of your hand, turning a quarter turn, and repeating. Add flour to keep the dough from getting sticky. Continue kneading for 5 - 8 minutes.
Roll dough to fit into a 9x13x2-inch pan. Pour half the melted butter or margarine into the pan. Place dough in pan. Cover with dish towel. Let rise 15 - 30 minutes. Drizzle or spread remaining melted butter on top of dough. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle dough with mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. Heat marinara sauce. Serve with breadsticks with warmed marinara (for dipping). Yield: 10 - 12 breadsticks