Sunday, September 18, 2011

Olive Garden Breadsticks

I have an unnatural love of Olive Garden breadsticks. I mean, it borders on obsession. My only problem is, I really hate Olive Garden. They hiked up their prices and it's like $10 for their soup, salad and breadsticks deal. Want some Alfredo dipping sauce with that? Add another $10 (because need at least two and they're now five bucks a pop). I'm too poor to pay that much for bread and bag-salad smothered in Italian dressing. The soup...not worth it in any way. I eat it because it comes with my meal.

Plus, as of late the waiters no longer ask you if you'd like more breadsticks. You have to flag them down and demand more breadsticks like a serious fatty. While I'm not above doing so, I'd much rather have endless breadsticks placed in front of me. You should assume I want another bread basket. Stop. Judging. Me. Yes I want those smothered in Alfredo sauce, are you joking me?

Then, I found this recipe. These breadsticks seriously taste like Olive Garden breadsticks. Add a little homemade Alfredo sauce or marinara and you are good to go. I have finally broke free of Olive Garden and can eat my sauce smothered breadsticks sans judgement (and budget breaking).

Olive Garden Breadsticks
adapted from Full Bellies, Happy Kids

 For Breadsticks:
1 1/2 cups warm water (between 110 - 120 degrees F)
1 package active dry yeast
2 Tbs. sugar
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Brushing:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. table salt

In a liquid measuring cup, dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for ten minutes (mixture should be very frothy).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Pour yeast mixture and melted butter into the flour mixture. Mix with a paddle attachment until combined. Knead for a few minutes, just until smooth.

Divide dough into 16 portions and roll into the shape of breadsticks. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

Meanwhile, melt butter with garlic powder and salt in a small saucepan for brushing.

Bake breadsticks at 400 for 6 minutes. Brush with butter mixture and return to the oven for an additional 6-8 minutes, until golden brown. Brush with remaining butter. Serve warm.

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