Italian Soft Breadsticks, soft, chewy, and quick to make! But be warned, it is impossible to eat just one. The perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup or stew and a nice addition to a plate of prosciutto and salumi. Or just give me a bowl of spicy marinara sauce to dunk my breadsticks in, yum!
The breadsticks are best eaten the day they are baked. But if you have any left (which is highly unlikely!), it is better to freeze them — thaw and re-heat in a 350° oven for 5 minutes.
Italian Soft Breadsticks
This is basically Italian bread dough which I think is the perfect texture for a soft breadstick – soft but still chewy and just a bit crusty. It can be doubled with good results. You can make the breadsticks any length you like.
Servings 12 (8-inch) Breadsticks
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⅛ teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm (110-115°) water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Olive oil, flaky sea salt, chopped fresh rosemary, grated Parmigiano cheese for topping
- Whisk together flour, salt, and yeast.
- Add the water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix until liquid is absorbed, and you have a sticky dough ball. A spatula works well for this initially. But it helps to get hands in the bowl and mix until all the flour is incorporated – do not add additional flour. The dough is soft and sticky and will not be smooth.
- Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper and set aside.
- Once the dough has risen, using a plastic dough scraper or spatula that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, deflate the dough by releasing from the sides of the bowl and pulling it towards the center forming a rough ball.
- Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. A Silpat mat is perfect for this. Pat the dough into a rectangle, about 6 x 8 inches. If dough seems too sticky, sprinkle lightly with a little flour. If you do not knead the flour into the dough, you can sprinkle more flour on top of the dough to prevent sticking.
- Cut into strips, ½” x 8”, using a pizza cutter. You can spray the pizza cutter with non-stick cooking spray if necessary.
- Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet, twisting each strip 2 or 3 times. Do not fuss if they don’t look perfect. They will still taste delicious. Cover loosely and let rise again for about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400° convection. Just before baking, brush breadsticks with olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary, flaky sea salt and grated Parmigiano cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes, until brown on both the bottom and top.
- The breadsticks re-heat nicely in a 350° oven for 5 minutes.