Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Olive Garden-esque Garlicky Bread Sticks

One of the things that I fondly remember about the Olive Garden (when we still had it here in Canada) were their bread sticks.  They were a soft, garlicky delight that you stuffed your face with (along with their salad) so that when your main meal came you wondered how in the love of God Almighty you were going to actually eat what you ordered.  We all remember that, right?

Well, I needed a bread to accompany my Leftover Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup that I made a few weeks ago for the Bookworm Family.  I had ulterior motives.  Boy 1 adores Chicken Noodle Soup so he had no issue with the main course but Boy 2 and Missy Moo? Unfortunately they are not known for being the easiest eaters on the planet.  So I thought that if I could buy their silence and distract them with a garlicky bread stick (that they could then dip into their soup) they may overlook the celery and onions floating around their bowls.  This trick somewhat worked but these bread sticks were so yummy that I was able to use them as leverage to get them to eat a few more bites of their soup.  So, I'll take that as a win.

I cannot take credit for this recipe.  It comes straight from Mrs Happy Homemaker's blog and these bread sticks are amazing!  I'm sure that she has oodles of other wonderful recipes so go on over and give her blog a look (link at the end of this post).

Garlicky goodness over soft, doughy bread sticks.  Bliss, I tell ya!  The only minor change that I made was to decrease the salt in the garlic butter topping because it was too salty even for the salt freaks in our household (yup, even I found them a wee bit salty).  Otherwise, these bread sticks are amazing and would be the perfect addition to a meal of pasta, Chicken Noodle Soup ....

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp salted butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or bread flour)
2 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast

Garlic Butter Topping
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt

Add the bread stick ingredients into your bread machine according to your manufacturer's instructions.  I've listed the ingredients above in the order I put them into my machine.  Typically you'll put the wet ingredients on the bottom, the flour in the middle and the yeast on the top so it doesn't come into contact with the liquid (which will kickstart your yeast into action, something you don't want until later in the process).

Set your bread machine for the dough cycle (usually takes about 2 hours).

When the dough is finished, pull off small pieces of dough and roll them, on a lightly floured surface, into skinny logs. 

NOTE: If you make your logs too big now they'll turn into gargantuan bread sticks (think big ol' French sticks).  If you're looking to make massive bread then have at 'er.  If you want a nice, small bread stick to accompany a meal (not BE the meal) then keep 'em small! Mine were about an inch wide and 8-inches long and they were a nice size.  Some were a little larger and turned out to look like a small sub bun. :s

Place your wee bread logs onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and cover with a tea towel.  Set them in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400F.  Bake your bread sticks for 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make your garlic butter topping.  As soon as you remove your baked bread sticks from the oven brush on a healthy dose of your garlic butter onto each bread stick.  You're going to want to eat them as soon as possible because they smell and look so darn good!  But show some restraint and allow the bread sticks to cool down a bit them serve them warm alongside a nice pasta, chicken noodle soup ....

Inspired by: Mrs Happy Homemaker's "Olive Garden Breadsticks'


Anonymous said...

Laurie, Olive Garden must only have departed from your neck of the woods as we still have them here in Manitoba! :) ~Bonnie D.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Sadly Bonnie, I think that Olive Garden got up and left us here in Ontario. :( I remember going to the one in London, Ont when I was at university (but that 'may' have been a couple -- ok, many -- years ago.) Glad you can still enjoy it! :)
I hope you and yours had a very happy and yummy Thanksgiving this weekend!


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