Introduction: Olive Garden Breadsticks
To make these awesomely delicious breadsticks, you will need:
For the Breadsticks:
1 1/2 c. warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 packet yeast (.75oz - or 1 Tbsp)
2 tsp fine sea salt (and a bit extra to sprinkle on top)
2 Tbsp butter (softened)
4-5 c. bread flour (you can also use All-Purpose flour, but they will turn out denser)
For the topping:
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp garlic powder
In a large bowl, mix the warm water, sugar, and yeast
Let it proof for 10 minutes, and get nice and foamy.
Then, mix in the 2 tsp of salt, 2 tbsp of softened butter, and about 3 cups of the flour.
Keep adding the remaining flour until you get a nice, soft dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl and isn't too sticky.
Now the dough has to rise for 1 hour
If you have a warm kitchen, you can cover the bowl with a damp towel and leave it on the counter.
My kitchen is far too cold, so I warm my oven (just until it reaches 170°F) and turn it off. Then, I set a dish of hot water on the lower rack, and the bowl with the dough on the top rack. This keeps everything nice, warm, and moist. (It's important to remember to turn the oven off!)
After an hour, punch the dough down, and separate it into 14-16 balls.
Roll the balls into "snakes" and place on 2 greased cookie sheets.
These now go back to rise for another 15-30 minutes (or until they've doubled in size)
After they rise, melt the 1/4 c. of butter, and mix with the garlic powder. Brush over the unbaked breadsticks. Sprinkle the tops with fine sea salt.
Bake at 400°F, for 12-14 minutes - or until golden brown.
Brush once more with the garlic butter mixture.