Monday, January 4, 2010

Crunchy Parmesan-Herb Breadsticks

I decided to make these because I wanted some time of fresh bread to go with soup and salad for dinner. I browsed through a number of cookbooks and these were something new that was pretty quick and easy to make. I made a half-batch and needed to add more water than the recipe lists to make the dough come together, which is no surprise in this dry winter air.

Crunchy Parmesan-Herb Breadsticks
from the Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book

2 to 2.5 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 package active dry yeast (2.25 t.)
1 t. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1 T. cooking oil
1 slightly beaten egg white
1 T. water
Grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a medium mixing bowl stir together 3/4 c. of the flour, the 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese, the yeast, and Italian seasoning. Add the 3/4 c. warm water and the oil to the dry mixture. beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping side of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough that's smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (45 to 60 minutes).

3. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 portions. Divide each portion into 6 pieces (24 pieces total). Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Grease baking sheets. To shape breadsticks, roll each piece into an 8-inch-long rope. Place ropes 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes).

4. Stir together egg white and 1 T. water; brush on breadsticks. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until golden and crisp. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely.

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