Saturday, September 29, 2012

These bread sticks are really impressive, and not very hard to make - plus you can do most of the work ahead of time, as the dough freezes beautifully. Just take it out and pop it in the fridge the night before you want fresh baked breadsticks!

Braided Herbed Breadsticks

3/4 cup milk
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh herbs (rosemary and oregano work great)
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 Tbs sugar
1-1.5 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 egg white beaten with 1 Tbs water

Heat milk with butter and sugar until butter just melts and temperature is 110-120 F.
Add yeast to milk mixture in bowl of standing mixer. Let proof for 10 minutes until bubbly, add 1 cup flour, salt, pepper and herbs. Stir at low speed with dough hook until combined. Add semolina flour and continue to stir at medium speed, adding additionally all purpose flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until
a ball forms and then continue to knead at medium high speed for five minutes. Grease a medium size bowl lightly and place dough in bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover bowl with a paper towel or kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk. Punch down. At this point you can freeze the dough for use within the next 6 months, just thaw overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding. If refrigerated let dough sit at room temperature for 20 mins. Divide dough in half. Roll one half into a 10x9 inch rectangle on a lightly floured board and cut into 24 thin strips, lengthwise. Roll into braids, working with three strips for each braid. Place braids 1.5 inches apart on an oiled foil lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise 30 mins. Brush each braid with egg white/water mixture and bake in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm, with olive oil as a dip (add a little minced garlic, salt, pepper and some more minced herbs to the oil if desired)

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