The following recipe is for Garlic and Herb bread dough and the directions are for a loaf of bread; however, you can easily convert the dough into breadsticks and I’ll explain how I did so later. This recipe is intended to mimic Garlic and Herb Pizza Dough found at Trader Joe’s. I increased the amount of garlic powder from what I used, as I didn’t find the dough even the slightest bit garlicky. You can play around with the amount of garlic used depending on how much you like garlic.
- 3 c. lukewarm water
- 6 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 T. salt
- 1 1/2 T. instant yeast
- 2 T. dried parsley
- 1 T. dried oregano
- 1 T. dried basil
- 1/2 T. dried thyme
- 1/2 T. dried marjoram
- 1/2 T. dried sage
- 1 1/2 T. garlic powder
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix and stir everything together to make a very sticky, rough dough. If you have a stand mixer, beat at medium speed with the beater blade for 30 to 60 seconds. If you don’t have a mixer, just stir with a big wooden spoon or dough whisk till everything is combined.
- Let the dough rise. If you made the dough in a bowl that’s not at least 6-quart capacity, transfer it to a large bowl. Grease the bowl; it makes it a bit easier to get the dough out when it’s time to bake bread.
- Cover the bowl with Saran wrap, and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. You can let the dough refrigerate for up to about 7 days. The longer the dough stays in the fridge, the tangier it will get.
- When you’re ready to make some bread, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour so it’s easier to grab. Grease your hands, and pull off about 1/4 to 1/3 of the dough. It will be about the size of a grapefruit.
- Place the dough onto a floured work surface, and round it into a ball.
- Place the dough on a piece of parchment (if you’re going to use a baking stone); or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top.
- Let the dough rise for about 60 minutes. It won’t rise upwards that much; it will settle and expand. Preheat your oven (and baking stone, if you’re using one) to 450°F while the dough rests. Place a shallow metal or cast iron pan (not glass or ceramic) on the lowest oven rack, and have 1 cup of hot water ready to go.
- When you’re ready to bake, take a sharp knife and slash the bread 2 or 3 times, making a cut about 1/2″ deep. The bread may deflate a bit.
- Place the bread in the oven, and carefully pour the 1 cup hot water into the shallow pan on the rack beneath. Close the oven door quickly.
- Bake the bread for 25 minutes, or until it’s a deep, golden brown.
- Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Store leftover bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.
- Follow the above directions up to direction number four; then preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Dust the dough with flour and break off three small pieces of dough — about the size of a quarter.
- Roll the pieces of dough into long, thin logs that are about the same length by rolling it back and forth between the palm of your hands. Press one of the ends of each of the logs of dough together and then braid the logs. At the end of the braid press the other ends together and set on a baking stone or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Repeat until you’ve reached the desired number of breadsticks. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. If desired, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder or parmesan cheese.
I liked that braiding the dough had the effect of breaking the breadstick apart easily when I bit into it. I baked mine for 12 minutes and hen threw on the broiler setting for a minute or two because my breadsticks did not brown at all without it. My only real disappointment with the breadsticks was that they didn’t taste all that garlicky. Serve them with marinara sauce and you’ll never know!