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Whenever you go out to the Olive Garden or similar restaurant, it's customary to order breadsticks. Breadsticks are sometimes the best part of the meal and often the most looked forward to! (I mean, look at that special the Olive Garden routinely offers: unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks. Score!) Sometimes you just get a hankering for breadstick—the marinara sauce, the alfredo sauce, the exotic cheeses. Breadsticks are one of the most amazing appetizers ever!
Next time you get a craving for breadsticks, consider making them on your own. Here's a great breadstick recipe that is simple and takes hardly any time at all. You'll need the following ingredients:
Begin by dissolving the yeast into the warm water with some sugar. (This sugar is separate from the sugar that is called for in the recipe; sugar acts as a catalyst of sorts and gives the yeast a jumpstart.) This is called proofing the yeast, and it's very important that you do it correctly. You want your water to be on the hotter side of warm, but not too hot or you'll end up killing the yeast. Mix the sugar and the yeast together in the warm water. You'll then just need to wait a few minutes for the yeast to begin rising. While the yeast rises, mix together the dry ingredients of the dough.
Mix together the sugar, the salt, and 2-1/2 cups of flour. Add the proofed yeast to the mixture and add more flour if needed (up to one cup more). The dough should be a little sticky, so don't add any more than one extra cup of flour—dry breadsticks are no good at all. Mix the dough for about three minutes and once you're finished mixing the dough, let the dough rise for ten minutes.
Now, it's time to actually bake your delicious breadsticks. Spread half of the melted butter in the jelly roll pan and make sure that the butter is spread evenly. Flatten the dough into the pan, carefully using your fingers to spread the dough out to fill the rest of the jelly roll pan. Once the dough is flattened, then pour the rest of butter over it. Using a pizza cutter, go ahead and slice the dough into strips. Sprinkle the dough with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese if you want. (I usually like this option because it adds a bit more flavor to the breadsticks.) Let the dough rest for another ten minutes and bake the breadsticks at 375 degrees for twenty minutes. Once the breadsticks are finished baking, take out the pizza cutter again and slice the sticks one more time.
Now that your breadsticks are out of the oven, they are ready to be enjoyed! Have them plain, with marinara sauce, or with cheese—they are amazing with just about anything!