Kalamata Grove Breadsticks!

You’ve probably had unlimited, fresh, hot out of the oven breadsticks at a chain restaurant that’s totally not named after a brined food which secretly grows on trees, not in a garden.

But THAT was then.

Now we’re ALL in an angst-ridden quarantine state where the good people gift each other rolls of toilet paper, while the annoying people hoard toilet paper for themselves. We cannot go out to eat at any restaurants: not chain restaurants, not small businesses, not even Florean Fortescue’s where lunch is ice cream sundaes.

What would Mrs. Weasley do?!

Mrs. Weasley would make breadsticks from scratch, of course. And so can YOU!

If you can get your hands on flour, yeast, and butter, then you can make breadsticks today. Believe me, I’ve baked up three dozen of them in two weeks.

My recipe is inspired by: https://www.cookingclassy.com/olive-garden-breadsticks-copycat-recipe/

 

Buttered Breadsticks and also some Oregano-Butter Flavor.

Contains gluten and dairy. May contain traces of the last bits of our collective sanity.

This recipe makes 24 breadsticks. Given the two long rises, you can expect this will take a little more than three hours from start to finish.

 

You will need…

2 cups plus 4 Tbsp hot water, 110 to 115 degrees

2 ½ tsp active dry yeast

4 Tbsp sugar, divided into 1 tsp / and then 3 Tbsp plus 2 tsp

6 to maybe 7 cups of flour, divided into 3 cups / then 3 cups again / then maybe up to 1 cup but likely just a dusting

1 tsp salt

6 Tbsp olive oil

 

For the toppings, you will also need…

Butter, to taste

Oregano mixed with melted butter

 

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, and 1 tsp sugar. Let proof for 10 minutes. The yeast should foam dramatically in that period of time. If it doesn’t, that sadly means your yeast is dead. See if you can get new yeast to start again.

Add the rest of the sugar, the first 3 cups of flour, the salt, and the oil. Combine the mixture well using a wooden spoon.

Add the second 3 cups of flour into the bowl of the stand mixer. Pour the dough mixture over it and stir to generally combine.

Put the bowl onto the electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let the dough hook help you knead by running the mixer on a very low speed for several minutes. When the dough starts to become a single mass within the bowl, it’s time to knead by hand.

Lightly dust the counter with flour. Poke at the outside textures of the dough that has been achieved so far. Your goal is to create a smooth and elastic dough which will feel tacky, not sticky. You may need to add more flour a spoonful at a time if it’s too sticky when you continue to knead by hand. Or it may already have enough flour and simply be ready to get kneaded for several minutes. Continue kneading until the dough is a uniform and smooth texture. The texture of a nice bread dough is almost similar to that of a plastic baby doll’s plastic head.

Butter a very large bowl all over. Place the dough in this bowl, turn it over and back to coat slightly with that butter, and cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap. Set in an area that is NOT drafty. Let rise for about 1 ½ hours, until it has doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and carefully divide in half and in subsequent pieces until you have 24 mostly even blobs.

Roll each blob into a longer rope, around 8 inches long. Place the pieces on 4 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. If you only own 2 cookie sheets, then use an additional 2 lengths of parchment paper that are the right size to later move onto the original 2 cookie sheets.

Let these rise for 1 hour. At around 45 or 50 minutes, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In the meantime, cut a few pieces of butter into small pats. Melt 1 tbsp of butter and combine with a few generous shakes of dried oregano. Stir well.

Bake the breadsticks 2 cookie sheets at a time, for 12 to 14 minutes until golden on top plus a lighter shade of gold on the sides.

When you take the breadsticks out of the oven, butter them immediately with the small pats of butter. Drizzle a few, maybe 5 or 6 of the batch, with the oregano-butter mixture.

Once you remove the breadsticks from the cookie sheets, you can place the second batch of breadsticks on their parchment papers onto the cookie sheets and bake them for 12 to 14 minutes as well.

Run over the rest of the breadsticks with pats of butter, allowing it it onto them.

Enjoy while warm! Store any leftovers in sealed containers or baggies. You can also freeze these very nicely and defrost them on the counter or in a warm oven.

Yay!

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