What’s New for Dinner? Italian Breadsticks

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Welcome to this week’s edition of “What’s New for Dinner?” Jaycie at CouponGeek and I have made a commitment to each other and to you, our readers, to try ONE new thing in our meal planning each week.  There are several reasons for this:

  • Meal planning can get a bit tedious.  We find ourselves making the same dinners over and over again.  We are forcing ourselves to get creative and step outside of the lines.
  • Hopefully this will inspire you, the reader, to try something new that you haven’t done before.

And Finally,

  • To show  you that adding new recipes or tricks to your culinary routine does not have to be expensive or time consuming…you can have your dinner and eat it too!
  • Oh woe is ME! It has been so long since I posted something new for dinner! In the past month and a half I have been moving the SuperFamily into our new home…what a chore!! I am set up now… at least in my kitchen…so I’m back to experimenting with new eats for us!

    This week I made some Italian Breadsticks to go with our pasta dinner. I’ve been wanting to try this for quite some time but never quite had the guts. There is a great recipe in The Five Dollar Dinner Mom Cookbook and since I have had great success with Erin’s recipes I thought I would give it a go.

    The Ingredients

    • white flour
    • wheat flour
    • yeast
    • flaxseed (I didn’t use any because mine was … well…too old)
    • salt
    • olive oil
    • sugar
    • Dried Italian Seasoning
    • Grated Parmesan

    The Directions

    • The first step is to use the seasonings, yeast, sugar and some flour to make a “spongy dough”.I find this to be a little more trying than it should be sometimes.  I seem to not get the water temperature correct and then you either burn off the yeast or it has failure to thrive or something like that.

    Yeast, Flour and Seasonings when they are first mixed together.

    "Spongy Dough" after Resting for 10 Min

    If you’ve never worked with yeast bread before, it can be a little stressful wondering what this stage is supposed to look like so I thought I’d put these pics up.  Not pretty…but you get the idea of what “spongy dough” should look like.

    • When the dough is “Spongy” you add the rest of the flour and stir it together with a wooden spoon.
    • When the dough is thick enough, knead it by hand for 6-8 min. I used my Kitchen Aid instead of kneading by hand.  6-8 minutes of kneading stiff dough and my hands would have been out of commission for the entire next day!

    Using a Dough Hook with the Kitchen Aid to knead

    • The next several steps require you to work quickly…something I have never quite gotten the hang of.  Dividing the dough into 4 medium balls, then each one of those balls down into muffin sized balls.
    • Each ball gets rolled out into skinny, long pieces.

    Shaping the dough

    • Twist two pieces together and place them on a greased baking sheet.
    • When all dough has been formed, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
    • Let rise for 30 minutes.
    • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes.

    Erin also gives directions for using her recipe in a bread machine.

    Ready for the Oven

    The Results:

    I was slightly disappointed in these breadsticks, I believe it was mostly user error. I may have kneaded the dough too long using the bread hook.  Generally  you can knead bread in the Kitchen Aid for 5-6 minutes and that is just about perfect; my dough was very stiff and hard to work with.  I can’t decide if it was the whole wheat or if I over worked the dough.

    In addition to over working the dough, I stopped to take pictures and in general goofed around took too long so half of the breadsticks were rising while I was still making the rest of them.

    They tasted good and the texture was, for the most part, nice and even.

    Italian Breadsticks

    What I Would Change:

    Even though it’s not the healthiest thing… I think I would go all white flour…or cut back on the ratio of white to wheat flours.  I would also like to try this kneading the dough by hand to see if there is a difference; being able to feel the dough as you are working with it can make all the difference in how it turns out.

    Be sure to head on over to CouponGeek and see what my friend Jaycie whipped up this week… I’m TOTALLY going to try it some day; Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta and Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad…um, YUM!

    Want to see some of my other culinary adventures?  Check out other recipes in my What’s New For Dinner adventure!

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