Do you ever find yourself deep in a binge-session watching those fun baking competitions and think to yourself, “Oh I could totally make that.” Well, just the other day I thought the same thing. Up until this day, breadsticks were just something you get for free at restaurants to gobble down until there is one left in the basket that everyone secretly stares at until the entrees come out. I dug around Pinterest until I found the official Great British Bakeoff breadstick recipe: Olive Breadsticks.
But why bother even making your own breadsticks? Well, if you like playing with dough and getting your countertop full of flour, then stay tuned.
The first tricky bit to this recipe is that the US has yet to convert to the metric system and I did not own a food scale at the time. Owning a food scale at this point would have saved a significant amount of time. If you are fancy and have a food scale, then you are golden. As I was attempting to convert this recipe to cups and tablespoons I was having faint memories of a dusty chalkboard and my teacher muttering, “Someday the US will convert to the metric system.” Had I remembered anything else other than her sentiment toward measurement conversions this step probably would have gone much faster. Nonetheless, I tracked down a site with a metric converter, but still not having full faith that the measurements were going to be exact since some of it just cannot be converted to exact cups and teaspoons.
Measure out the ingredients
Put the flour, salt and yeast in the mixing bowl with the stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Then add half of the water and turn the mixer on slow. As the dough begins to form, add in the remaining water slowly. Turn the mixer up to medium and keep it going until the dough is stretchy. The orignial recipe says 5-8 minutes, so I kept mine going for the full 8 since the dough didn’t start to get some real stretch until that point. It’s easy to test it by stopping the mixer and watch how the dough falls from the hook. If it’s still really wet then keep mixing so it can build up the dough and have some stretch.
Here is where you can get a little creative depending on what flavors you want to bring to the party. Since garlic always adds some kick and flavor I added minced roasted garlic at this point. You could add olives like the original calls for or some shredded parmesan cheese would be divine! Once the extra flavors are well combined into the dough, move it to a well oiled container or bowl. Cover the dough and let it sit for about an hour. (if the house or apartment is a bit cold, leave the dough a bit longer!)
Once the dough has at least doubled in size, it’s time to make a giant mess on the countertop. Take a good scoop of flour covering enough space to spread out the dough. It’s easiest to tip the bowl sideways and slowly let the dough “crawl” out of the bowl. Gently use your hands and guide it to the floured surface. It will feel quite soft and fragile so just be patient and don’t squish it. I was fighting all of my instincts to not squish this soft dough through my fingers.
Spread out the dough gently to keep in the air bubbles
Once the dough is formed into a rough rectangular shape, sprinkle flour on the top so it is easier to handle. It’s easiest to use a pizza cutter and cut the dough into strips about 1″ wide and then make one large cut across the middle to create smaller strips. At this point the dough is VERY soft so take your time with this process. Also, having a dough scraper is very helpful in order to handle and move the strips of dough. Once the cuts are done move each strip to a parchment lined baking sheet and stretch them out. I didn’t measure much at this point; I just stretched them each a bit to fit the baking tray because I’m a professional like that. Here is where additional flavors can be added if desired. These can also be left just plain! I had some leftover pesto in the fridge so I brushed that on top of one of the trays of breadsticks and they came out quite well and added an extra punch of flavor and texture. These can also be topped with additional mozzarella cheese for extra crunch and saltiness.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them because they won’t brown-up too much so it’s easy to over bake them and will result in very dry breadsticks. Once out of the oven move them to a cooling rack. I served these up with some dipping olive oil and balsamic vinegar and they were a hit!
When you have too much dough and not enough patience to form any more breadsticks, spread it out and make flat bread!
Credit:Recipe adapted from The Great British Baking Show. See link for original recipe.
- 7 Cups all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp yeast
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp roasted garlic (opt.)
- Pesto for brushed topping
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix dough, salt and yeast in mixing bowl. Add in 1/2 of the water and slowly start mixing. Once the dough starts to combine slowly add in the remaining water. Bring up the speed to medium and let the dough mix for up to 8 minutes or until stretchy. Add in garlic or flavors of your choosing. Move the dough to a bowl or container lined with oil. Cover dough and let sit for at least an hour or until doubled in size. Move dough to heavily floured surface and shape into a rough rectangle. Cut strips and move to parchment lined baking sheets.
350° for 10-15 minutes.
Move to cooling rack immediately.
These are great to make on a rainy day and pair well with cheese, glass of wine, and great company!
Make sure to like, follow & share. Are you going to try these? Let me know!