Homemade Soft Breadsticks
3 hourstotal time
2 to 2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
¾ cup milk
2 tbsp shortening
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
In a small mixer bowl combine ¾ cup of the flour and the yeast. In a saucepan heat milk, shortening, sugar, and salt just till warm 115° to 120°) and shortening is almost melted, stirring constantly. Add to flour mixture. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for ½ minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface.
Cover; let rise in a warm place till double (45 to 60 minutes).
Punch down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 4 portions. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Divide each portion into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope 8 inches long. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover, let rise in a warm place till nearly double (about 30 minutes). If desired, brush with a mixture of egg white and water, and sprinkle with coarse salt or sesame seed.
Bake in a 375° oven for 10 to 15 minutes or till golden brown. (For drier breadsticks, after baking 10 minutes, decrease oven temperature to 300° and bake 25 to 30 minutes longer.)
Makes 24 breadsticks
Parmesan Breadsticks: Prepare Breadsticks as above, except stir ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese into the ¾ cup flour and yeast.
Omit sprinkling with coarse salt or seed.
Barbecue Breadsticks: Prepare Breadstick dough as above, except decrease the milk to ⅔ cup and stir 2 tablespoons bottled barbecue sauce and 1 teaspoon minced dried onion into the milk-shortening mixture in saucepan. Omit sprinkling breadsticks with coarse salt or seed. For drier barbecue bread-sticks, bake in a 375° oven for 10 minutes; decrease temperature to 300° and bake only 15 to 20 minutes longer.
3 hourstotal time