Bread is a perfect accompaniment for so many meals. Whether one is having a delicious soup on a chilly day in winter, a classic Italian meal like lasagna or spaghetti, or a pot roast for Sunday dinner, bread can be the final finishing touch that will make a meal complete. Often one of the favorite items that people discuss when eating at a favorite restaurant is the bread basket.
While the low carb craze has put bread in the “dog house” for the last few years, there is nothing wrong with having a bit of bread in moderation. Just learn to eat high quality, fresh bread at a frequency that works for your body and your metabolism.
Ancient people groups from all over the world used bread as a foundation for every meal. In fact even in modern times, in some parts of the world, a meal is not complete without bread. Whether it’s a middle Eastern pita bread, a dark rustic bread like pumpernickel from Central Europe, or a soft breadstick from Italy, bread is found everywhere. In many places, yeast is the main rising ingredient, often captured and nurtured from wild yeasts that float in the air.
Did you know that baking bread, however, is much easier than you might think? You don’t have to wait until you go out to dinner to have an aromatic, soft, and delicious piece of bread. While many people rely on refrigerated or frozen bread doughs to have that fresh baked aroma and flavor in their own homes, it really isn’t that much trouble to create lovely yeast breads from scratch at home.
Our recipe for Soft Garlic and Herb Breadsticks is a wonderful addition to a meal. While the seasonings for this recipe lend themselves more to an Italian menu, you can alter them if you are enjoying another kind of fare. Alternately, you can simply omit the Italian seasoning and just serve them as a kind of garlic bread.
If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, this recipe gets even more easy. Simply place the ingredients in the mixer bowl, turn on the mixer and walk away. The mixer does the hard work of kneading and mixing the bread. All you have to do is allow it to rise and later shape and bake the bread.
However, if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can still create homemade bread. In fact, many home cooks find the rhythm of kneading bread by hand soothing and comforting. Even if you have a stand mixer, you should make bread by hand at least once so that you can appreciate and experience the creation of bread the way that our ancestors did.
Table of Contents
- Soft Garlic and Herb Breadsticks Recipe
- Ingredients for Bread Dough
- Ingredients for Herb Butter
- Step 1: In the bowl of an electric with a dough hook or in a large mixing bowl, stir together the warm water and the yeast.
- Step 2: Using a large wooden spoon or the mixer on low speed, gradually stir in the flour, salt, and butter.
- Step 3: If you have an electric mixer with a dough hook, turn the speed to medium-low and allow the mixer to knead the dough for seven or eight minutes.
- Step 4: Once the bread is fully kneaded, place the dough ball into the mixing bowl and drizzle a tablespoon or so of oil over the dough, turning it so that it is fully coated with oil.
- Step 5: When the dough is doubled in bulk, punch it down to release the air bubbles.
- Step 6: Using a sharp knife cut the roll into twelve separate pieces.
- Step 7: Shape each piece into a long six to eight-inch rectangle and place each one on a parchment-lined baking sheet about three inches apart.
- Step 8: Brush each breadstick all over with this mixture.
- Step 9: Allow the breadsticks to rise for about 45 to 60 minutes.
Soft Garlic and Herb Breadsticks Recipe
Ingredients for Bread Dough
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 package active dry yeast, about 2 ½ teaspoons
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups flour
Ingredients for Herb Butter
- 3 teaspoons melted butter
- ½ teaspoon coarse flaked salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried garlic
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
Step 1: In the bowl of an electric with a dough hook or in a large mixing bowl, stir together the warm water and the yeast.
Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for five minutes or so to activate the yeast.
Step 2: Using a large wooden spoon or the mixer on low speed, gradually stir in the flour, salt, and butter.
After mixing for a bit, the mixture should start to ball up and stick together. If it remains too dry, add a tablespoon or two of additional warm water. Once the dough has started to stick together, it’s time to knead the dough.
Step 3: If you have an electric mixer with a dough hook, turn the speed to medium-low and allow the mixer to knead the dough for seven or eight minutes.
Otherwise, if you are kneading by hand, lightly flour a breadboard or your countertop. Using the heels of your hands, stretch and press the dough flat. Fold the bread dough over on itself and give it a half-turn. Stretch and press the dough flat again, folding it again. Repeat this process for seven or eight minutes, turning and kneading the dough.
As the dough is kneaded, the flour will be fully incorporated and the gluten in the flour will begin to be activated, which will help trap the yeast bubbles and give your bread a light, airy texture. You can stop kneading when the bread dough is smooth, elastic, and not sticky, but not dry. Don’t be intimidated by the kneading process. It really isn’t very difficult.
Step 4: Once the bread is fully kneaded, place the dough ball into the mixing bowl and drizzle a tablespoon or so of oil over the dough, turning it so that it is fully coated with oil.
Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let the dough sit undisturbed for about 90 minutes to rise.
Step 5: When the dough is doubled in bulk, punch it down to release the air bubbles.
Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat it into a long roll.
Step 6: Using a sharp knife cut the roll into twelve separate pieces.
Step 7: Shape each piece into a long six to eight-inch rectangle and place each one on a parchment-lined baking sheet about three inches apart.
In a small bowl, melt the butter and stir in the salt, garlic, and Italian seasoning.
Step 8: Brush each breadstick all over with this mixture.
Step 9: Allow the breadsticks to rise for about 45 to 60 minutes.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.
April Freeman enjoys creating all kinds of recipes for her friends and family from her country kitchen in Middle Tennessee. She and her family raise beef cattle, chickens, and all sorts of fruits and veggies on their farm, and she specializes in featuring farm-fresh foods in the recipes that she creates and serves. April says that her slogan is “Are you hungry?” and she feels that one way of showing love and connecting with others is to serve delicious favorite foods to others. Her favorite thing to cook is pies of all kinds.