Vegetarian Concoctions

March 29, 2007

Bread sticks

Filed under: Basil, Breads, Cheese, Garlic, Snacks and Appetizers — Hema @ 11:04 am

Horrible horrible week. The past week was sick….literally. First the kiddo, then me and then H. The only silver lining was that all of us did not fall sick at the same time. Getting better was no fun either. Disinfecting three whole baskets of laundry and cleaning up the mess we called our home took up another 3 days. I was dragging myself to work in the morning. Getting back home in the evening was worse…just thinking of all the work that lay waiting. If this was not enough, TEAM-INDIA added to our misery*. We played against Sri Lanka and the rest is history that I hope will never be repeated again. It took me quite some time to digest the fact that we did’nt even make it to the top eight teams. Half way through our innings I switched off the TV. What a shame!

What better way to vent out my anger and frustration than cooking?…and thats what I did. Baking, actually. Since my sourdough bread success story, I have been tempted to experiment with various breads and bread sticks seemed to be the simplest to start off with. I had made some a week earlier and they turned out soft and delicious. Here is my second attempt captured for records:


What you need:

All-purpose flour – 2 1/2 – 3 cups

White unsalted butter – 1/2 stick (4 tablespoon)

Commercial yeast – 2 tsp

sugar – 1 tsp

Salt – about 1 1/2 tsp

Water – as required

Cheese sticks:
Cheddar cheese – 1/2 cup

Garlic sticks:
Garlic – 1 clove
Garlic salt and dried basil to garnish

Combine sugar and yeast in warm water and let rest for about 10 mts till bubbly. Add the flour, salt and butter. The butter should be at room temperature and softned when added. Incorporate the butter into the flour with your hands and then add enough water to get a soft and workable dough but not sticking to your hands while kneading(see tip 1 below). Add extra flour if needed. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes while pushing the dough away from you with your palms. Brush some olive oil on it and let this rise for about 1 1/2 – 2 hrs in a warm place till it doubles in size (tip 2). Punch back the dough and now add your flavourings (tip 3). I made two kinds: cheese and garlic. To half the dough I added shedded cheddar cheese and to the other half minced garlic. Then I shaped them into sticks and garnished the garlic one with garlic salt and dried basil. You can really get creative with the flavors and shapes here. I placed the sticks on baking trays 3-4 inches apart and let the dough rise one last time – about 1 – 1 1/2 hrs (tip 4). This went into a 375 degrees preheated oven for about 25 minutes till the crust is golden brown. Brush some butter on the crust as soon as they come out of the oven (tip 5) and serve with your favourite soup or marinara sauce.


With the few tips I learnt about bread making from an expert bread-maker, I guess I should send it to Sushma’s Monthly cooking tipology:

1. After the rise, the bread gets softer and hence stickier. So, the dough should not be too soft when you knead it in the first place.

2. If you don’t have a pilot lamp or a light in your oven or a warm corner in your kitchen to help rise your dough, you could place the dough in a small enclosure close to a saucepan with boiling water. This also helps in keeping the crust soft.

3. Some herbs and spices seem to inhibit growth of yeast. Hence, it is best to incorporate the flavors in the bread during the last rise.

4. The more number of times you punch back your bread and let it rise again, the finer will be the pores in your bread. If you want your bread to have big pores, just let the dough rise once and bake.

5. If you want a soft crust, like our bread sticks here, always brush the crust with molten butter as soon as they come out of the oven. If you want the crust to be hard/crisp, like in sourdough bread, skip the butter on the crust.

*CRICKET – the sport. The ICC world cup games are on in West Indies.



  1. hmm..that one looks quite fluffy and tempts me to go straight off to the kitchen and make some but having second thoughts as i plan to live with leftovers today ! :)Anyway bookmarking this recipe :)Hope you are alright now!


    Comment by Mishmash! — March 29, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

  2. I will make these with my bread machine,it’s easy peasy that way.Thanks for the recipe and tips.
    You could send this Sushma’s Tipology!
    Hope you are all doing well,Season change brings the worst flu and Allergy too.
    Boo for Indian cricketers,useless fellas!Glad Arvind didn’t pay $200 for watching that!;D
    Take care ,hugs.

    Comment by Asha — March 29, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

  3. all of your fit now to enjoy the spring ? FL was good weather anyway though. Life is amess here if you fall sick, so much work to do.

    Great that you found the energy to bake such nice , warm breadsticks. You are becoming a “bekaraar” baker Hema ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by sandeepa — March 29, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

  4. Sorry for all the spelling mistakes in my comment, is there a way I can “Delete”, don’t see anything ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Comment by sandeepa — March 29, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

  5. Wow the bread sticks looks so spongy and fluffy. Beautiful presentation

    Comment by seema — March 29, 2007 @ 1:27 pm

  6. the breadsticks look wonderful! If I had the patience to punch and wait for dough to rise etc etc – I would love to try this out ๐Ÿ™‚ hope you’re all feeling better…

    Comment by @ — March 29, 2007 @ 1:32 pm

  7. Hi Hema,

    Thanks for visiting my blog.Bread sticks looks fluffy and awesome…
    Wonderful presentation and tips too,which would be really useful for a novice like us…

    Comment by usha — March 29, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

  8. Hi Hema, Fluffy and wonderful breadsticks. Nice job:) Hope you are doing well.

    Comment by Just for fun — March 29, 2007 @ 3:35 pm

  9. Hope you are well now.Nice bread sticks. You really had the energy to bake??

    Comment by Jyothsna — March 29, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

  10. Hi Hema — those breadsticks look *fabulous*!! I am definitely going to try your recipe — and thanks for listing out all those tips too! So glad to hear everyone’s feeling better ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Linda — March 29, 2007 @ 9:03 pm

  11. ha ha ha… so u took all ur frustration of poor dough? he he he… even now i am still trying u digest thate india is not at top 8 team… grrrrr…
    well, foget abt that… u have mastered the art of break making.

    Comment by sia — March 30, 2007 @ 6:24 am

  12. Hi Hema, this is simply great because I posted a recipe with pillsbury dough and wanted to know how to make them from scratch. which yeast should I use? I mean the name. This is a treasure recipe for me. thanks


    Comment by Sharmi — March 30, 2007 @ 11:42 am

  13. take care dear….. hope you all doing fine now….

    Bread sticks look great…. liked ur tips at the end of it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Coffee — March 31, 2007 @ 2:51 am

  14. Hi Hema,
    Bread Sticks look wonderful!!!!
    Take care of your health.
    Thanks for sharing recipe and tips

    Comment by Menu Today — April 1, 2007 @ 10:00 pm

  15. I haven’t tried baking bread Hema but planning to do it soon and ur tips will surely be a big help to me.Ur breadsticks look fluffy and I want to know the brand of yeast u used..
    Yes Ashamed of India’s performance in world cup..

    Comment by Prema — April 2, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

  16. Hi hema
    bread sticks are looking fantastic.
    Good work.

    Comment by swapna — April 3, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

  17. what a great blog you have, hema. thanks for dropping by ours. have added you to the blogroll.

    Comment by bee — April 3, 2007 @ 4:04 pm

  18. Lovely bread sticks….I love dunking those in some soup…hope you’re feeling better now, did you get a chance to go to P.f chang’s yet?


    Comment by Trupti — April 4, 2007 @ 8:02 am

  19. Hema, hope you and your family are feeling good and healthy.

    I had been out of town and saw your post today.. You have given a wonderful piece of advice for making breadstick…I would definitely try my hands on it..

    Thanxs so much

    Comment by Sushma — April 12, 2007 @ 10:52 pm

  20. […] the perfect bread and ended up with not so risen, not so soft one’s. Head to Hema Vijay blog Vegetarian Concotions before your try your hands on bread baking and use her wonderful tips to get that Perfect bread. […]

    Pingback by Monthly Cooking Tipology - April Round Up ยป Recipe Source — April 26, 2007 @ 5:03 am

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