So this past Thursday was Kevin and my 3 year anniversary (no we’re not married…we’ve just been dating for 3 years). Kids can celebrate anniversaries too though! Instead of him taking care of dinner (making a reservation), I told him I would “make dinner plans” (cook a scrumptious meal). I wanted to include all of his favorite things in one dinner.
Like I have said on here many times before, Kevin and I are really good at eating. When we go to Outback or Olive Garden, we eat at least 5 different loaves of the brown bread/5 different baskets of breadsticks. He always makes me ask the waitress for them though because they always look at us like we’re crazy. Well we are. Well as you can see he loves the breadsticks at Olive Garden, so I searched online for a copycat recipe and found these yummy breadsticks. Now here is another fun fact about Kevin…his favorite meal is chicken marsala but he hates mushrooms. I always thought that you couldn’t have chicken marsala without mushrooms, but Kevin says no. The mushroom-less chicken marsala recipe will be up next, so keep a look out all you mushroom haters! However, if you do like mushrooms you can still stop by (I’ll still put mushrooms in the recipe). Dessert had to be chocolate (look at my previous post on chocolate chip cookies), so I made a decadent and insanely good molten chocolate cake. Like the best
molten chocolate cake dessert I’ve ever had. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. That post will be up after chicken marsala. So anybody that wants to go to heaven and back, subscribe to my blog and you won’t miss the recipe.
Now back to the homemade breadsticks Olive Garden style…
This was the first yeast dough that I have ever worked with, so needless to say I was worried. When I was at the grocery store getting all of the ingredients together, I made sure to get 3 packets of active dry yeast. No, not because I was planning on making more yeast breads, but because I knew I would mess up the first (if not the second) packet and would have to open up a new one. Although I did end up having to use the second packet, I threw away the first yeast and water combination because I thought the yeast wasn’t “foaming” enough. To everyone who is going to make this: do not expect a violent, doubling in size, foaming yeast mixture. There will just be a thin film of foam on the top (see second picture below)!
Don’t worry if the dough is really sticky and wet, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Once you knead it on a floured surface, it will become easier to handle. After kneading it until smooth, about 3 minutes, you’re going to roll the dough out into a 2 foot long log. Then you’re going to cut that log into 16 equal sized pieces. Then you’re going to roll those pieces into 7 inch logs – don’t worry, no more logs! – and place them on a greased baking sheet lined with parchment paper (if you wish).
Homemade Breadsticks: (from Food Network)
makes 16 breadsticks
For the dough:
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup (for yeast) & 1 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (for dough) warm water
- 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon fine salt
For the topping:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
Place 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a mixer. Sprinkle in the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, butter, sugar, fine salt and 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water. Mix with the paddle attachment until a slightly sticky dough forms, 5 minutes. Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until very smooth and soft, 3 minutes. Roll into a 2-foot-long log. Cut into 16 1 1/2-inch-long pieces. Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 7-inch-long breadstick. Arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Cover with a cloth. Let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Brush the breadsticks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the garlic powder and oregano. Brush the warm breadsticks with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, and oregano mixture.