Thursday, June 17, 2010

sage breadsticks

Perfect party food, these crispy breadsticks had my guests crunching and dipping incessantly. They were part of the spread at our going away party in London, and were served with homemade hummus and some Tex-Mex queso (thanks to Matt and Bree for the Velveeta).

With sage and cheese added, they are tasty enough to eat on their own, or are great as dippers. Make them as long or short as you like--mine were limited only by the width of my pan and oven!

After the dough rises, punch it down and roll it out into an oblong. Now use scissors to cut long, thin strips. Either stretch them even thinner or twist them into twirls. While store-bought breadsticks are vapid tasting and full of additives, these are cheesy, savoury bites that everyone loved.
Sage Breadsticks
makes 40
adapted from 'Tis the Season: A Vegetarian Christmas Cookbook by Nanette Blanchard

1 T active dry yeast
1 t sugar
1 cup warm water (about 110 F/40 C)
1 t salt
2 T olive oil
2 T minced fresh sage or 2 T dried sage
1/4 c grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
about 2 1/2 c plain flour

Mix the yeast, sugar, and water in a mixing bowl and stir to dissolve. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Add the salt, olive oil, sage, cheese and stir to combine.
Add the flour, mix, and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and satiny.
Place in a greased bowl, turning the dough to coat it in oil.
Leave in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
Punch down, then roll out on a floured surface. Use scissors to divide the dough into quarters, then cut each into 10 strips. Stretch or twirl each one, then lay them on baking trays.
Bake at 400 F/205 C for 15 minutes, until breadsticks are golden brown and crisp.


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