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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Soft Bread Sticks

Before we move completely away from the Lion House Recipes Lite cookbook, I thought I would share this recipe from the same book, which I made as an accompaniament to the super hamburger soup. These breadsticks were a huge hit, and will no doubt be appearing regularly on our menu in the future.

These are fairly easy to prepare, although they require a little planning ahead (as with any yeast bread).

Soft Bread Sticks
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups flour
Yellow or white corn meal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, salt, and oil. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface for 6 to 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Spray bowl with nonstick cooking spray; place dough in bowl, turning to coat all surfaces with spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 10 inches long. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place bread sticks one inch apart on prepared sheet. Let rise, uncovered, until double in size, about 45 minutes. Beat egg white with 1 tablespoon water; brush over bread sticks. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large shallow pan filled with boiling water on the lowest rack of the oven, and put the baking sheet with the bread sticks on the middle rack. Bake bread sticks for 10 minutes, brush again with egg white, and bake 5 more minutes or until golden brown. Makes 12 bread sticks.

Note: I doubled the recipe because I knew everyone at our table would want at least two breadsticks. One egg white was sufficient for both batches. As an experiment, I basted the breadsticks with butter mixed with Johnny's garlic seasoning just as they came out of the oven. It made them taste like Olive Garden breadsticks. They are also good with just butter or not basted at all (this is a "lite" cook book, after all).

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