Put these breadsticks next to the olives and watch everyone snap them up.
- Yield: Makes 35 to 40
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer/Fall 1998
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water, (about 110 degrees)
- 3 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon barley malt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 3 3/4 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1/4 cup warm water, yeast, and barley malt. Let stand until yeast is creamy, about 10 minutes. Add olive oil, flour, salt, shortening, and the remaining warm water; mix on low speed for 1 minute. Change to dough-hook attachment, and mix on medium-low speed until dough is soft but not tacky, about 2 minutes. Add rosemary and Parmesan; mix 1 minute more. Alternatively, knead by hand 5 to 10 minutes.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead 4 or 5 turns, forming the dough into a ball. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and let rest 10 minutes.
Place a piece of parchment on a clean work surface, and brush parchment with olive oil. Transfer dough to parchment, and pat dough into a 4-by-22-inch rectangle. Brush surface with olive oil, cover with plastic, and let rise 1 hour.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line four baking sheets with parchment; brush generously with oil. Cut a 1/2-inch-thick piece of dough from the shorter side of the rectangle. Hold dough by the ends; stretch it to the length of the baking sheet, keeping the shape as uniform as possible. Form ends into hooks, loops, S curves, or knots. Place bread stick on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing bread sticks 1 inch apart. Let rise in a warm place, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Bake two sheets at a time on separate shelves until bread sticks are crisp and golden, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool completely. Store up to 10 days in an airtight container.