Saturday, March 20, 2010

BOTD: Crispy Sesame Breadsticks

Breadsticks can be made many different bread recipes. This is the one I happened to use this time.

14 oz. (by weight) bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

1 cup cool water

Toasted sesame seeds (or other toppings, your choice)
Quick Shine or egg for eggwash

The first five ingredients went into the food processor, and while the processor was running, I poured in the water as fast as the flour could absorb it, and then kept processing until it was nice and elastic, stopping now and then to check the dough.

I use instant yeast, and I buy it in bulk and use it often, so I had no doubt that it would activate during the process. If you don't use instant yeast or you aren't sure the batch you have is good, you can add the yeast to 1/4 cup warm water with a little of the sugar added in, and wait to see if it foams up. Add that  to the food processor first, then follow with 3/4 cup cool water.

The reason cool water is needed here is that the action of the food processor blade heats up the dough. If warm water was added, it could get too warm and kill the yeast.

I used about a quarter of the dough right away for something else, and put the rest in a plastic bag in the fridge, drizzled with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking to the bag. It sat for two days in the fridge, but that rest isn't necessary. Breadsticks can be made immediately, or you can let the dough rise once, for a little more flavor.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, with the convection fan on.

I let the dough sit for about 15 minutes to take off some of the chill, then rolled it to a rough rectangle, about 12x 15 inches. I sprayed in with some Quick Shine and sprinkled it toasted sesame seeds. I rolled over it with the rolling pin to press the seeds into the dough a little more. Then I cut it in half lengthwise, and then cut strips about 1/2 wide.

If you don't have Quick Shine, you can brush the dough with an eggwash, Or, if you're not using seeds that need to stick to the dough, you can skip the eggwash.

I twisted each strip before I put in on my breadstick pans. These are corrugated pans that keep the sticks straight and keep them from moving around. Breadsticks can be baked on regular baking pans. as well. , When twisting the sticks, they will stretch, which is why I start with shorter pieces.

I ended up with three pans full of breadsticks, and baked them all at once on three racks in the oven, moving them around to different oven positions during baking, so they'd brown evenly.

You might notice that there's no instruction to let the breadsticks rise after forming, Yes, that's right. Twist them, put them on pans, and bake. No rise. Really. After about five minutes in the oven, they've risen nicely.

They baked for about 35 minutes, but I was checking every five minutes or so after about 20 minutes. These can go from pretty golden brown to overbrowned pretty quickly. But you want then cooked through so they're crisp. If they're not baked until they're dry they can be chewy, but not in a good way.

After baking, they need to cool completely before storing.

Mmmmmm....crunchy breadsticks.

3 comments:

Shahbanu said...

Hey Donna! The breadsticks look yum and the photos have come out nice! Great blog!
Was good to see you again at the Cayenne Kitchen.

Shahbanu (Now,this way you can remember my name) :)

P.S. Maybe you could come over for goat curry someday!

Ambar said...

Hello! Great blog, I was wondering If these can be made with a stand mixer instead of a food processor. Thanks!

Donna Currie said...

Ambar, a stand mixer would be fine. It's what I use most of the time. As long as you're kneading long enough to get the proper elasticity, you could do this by hand, as well.

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