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*Expired* Notebook Experiment: Homemade Breadsticks

by Freebies4Mom on August 26, 2008 12:52 pm

Cooking inspiration is what I desperately need right now, and MomAdvice is coming to my rescue and offering me a great way to share the results of an experiment I selected from Amy’s Notebook 8-21-08.

I made homemade breadsticks @ Chocolate on my Cranium.

Why do I need inspiration to cook in my kitchen right now? Because it is dark in my kitchen. The overhead light is broken, and I don’t know when the replacement light will arrive. So I’ve just been avoiding the kitchen at all costs and fixing what’s easy and fast because I don’t enjoy being in my dark kitchen as much as my bright kitchen. I also seem to have developed a fear of making things from scratch. Before I had kids I would make things from scratch all the time. Two kids later my goal is to minimize the prep time for meals and I fear trying to cook and then finding both toddlers tugging at my legs and needing my attention during a time-sensitive step in a recipe.
The homemade breadsticks were a huge success and I’m so glad Amy motivated me to try them! I’m also hoping that by writing about my questions here that some of my readers who are seasoned breadmakers will chime in with some advice for me. I really want to keep making these, but I hope I can improve my technique.

I was intimidated about kneading the dough by hand, so I used my bread machine. This involved actually taking the bread machine out of storage in my pantry, which might give you a clue about how familiar I am with using it – not at all. The recipe said to knead the dough for 5 minutes, for some reason I thought I should do 10 minutes in the bread machine. Next time I’ll stick to the recipe and try 5 minutes because my best guess is that over-kneading the bread resulted in a slightly spongy texture.

When I started taking the dough out of the bread machine I was horrified that my breadsticks would be an inedible flop. The dough was super-sticky and sticking to my hands so much it was hard to get it to stick to the cookie sheet. I did flour my hands, but evidently not enough! Finally I got most of the dough off my hands and onto the jelly roll pan. Forget about flipping it to coat both sides with butter, I wasn’t going to touch it and get it stuck on me again. I also could not get it to spread all the way to the edges, but found when I let it rest it did some spreading on it’s own.

The breadsticks baked successfully and everyone at the dinner table liked them! I cooked spaghetti and sauce while the breadsticks were baking in the oven. Next time I make them I want to try adding herbs to the dough, and sprinkling cheese on top. I’m grateful to Amy @ MomAdvice and Cocoa @ Chocolate on my Cranium for inspiring me in the kitchen. I hope to be participating in more of Amy’s Notebook Experiments as I have time. Check out what everyone else is busy crafting and cooking here.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel August 26, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Don’t have too much advice (and I actually gave my breadmaker away so I definitely don’t have any advice there) but I always spray my hands with cooking spray instead of flouring them which seems to work for me…..

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Heather August 26, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Great tip, Rachel! I’ll try the cooking spray on my hands next time I make them!

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Amy August 26, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Heather- I think you did great!! If I recall, it said that the dough was really sticky and not to worry- I think you did a wonderful job! The Pam tip is great too!Thank you SO much for participating. The breadsticks look delicious!! YUM! I am going to have to make those!

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Heather August 26, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Amy – Yes, this was some sticky dough! But seriously, I think I should have not doubled the kneading time in the bread machine. The texture was a bit spongey, so I’ll do less kneading next time! Now I’ve got to pick out my next Notebook Experiment to try!

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Chocolate on my Cranium August 26, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Glad the breadsticks were a hit!Here are a few things to try that might help:Go ahead and add another 1/2 – 1 cup of flour if the dough is really too sticky. I think a lot depends on whether you live in a humid or dry environment. I live in the dry desert of northern Nevada so I don’t need as much flour.Over kneading can also make the dough stickier. :)I use the dough hook attachment on my Kitchen Aid and then I use a rubber spatula to scoop the dough out onto the pan. The oil spray on your hands is a good idea or you can just dab your hands in the butter that’s already in the pan before attempting to turn it over.Hope some of theses suggestions will help. :)Cocoa

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Heather August 26, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Cocoa – That makes so much sense! I am in a very humid Houston – so next time I’ll try a little extra flour. Wish I had a KitchenAid Mixer – but I’ll try 5 minutes in my bread machine next time. I am so excited to try it again and love to be getting all this feedback on my experiment! Thanks for the recipe!

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Heidi September 4, 2008 at 3:10 pm

I know this is a little late on the post, but after I read your post – I have made this recipe (I’m embarassed to say) 3 times! And I’m making it again tonight? Do we love them, or WHAT?! I did the butter on my hands trick – dabbing a little from the melted butter on the pan, and that worked fine. Also, just mashing, mashing pushing, pressing got the dough to the edge. We’ve tried them with sundried tomato bits (from our garden), parmesean cheese and garlic salt. I substituted 1/2 of the butter for 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil and they tasted great with that. Thank you for your post!

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Heather September 4, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Heidi – Fabulous to hear the breadsticks are a hit at your house! Thanks for coming back and sharing with us. I need to make them a 2nd time but keep forgetting to buy more yeast. I’ll definitely try the butter on my hands trick!

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