Herb Bread Sticks

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I love homemade bread.  It can be eaten as is or as an accompaniment to soup or stew.  Bread sticks give you the best of both worlds; you get the flavor and texture of bread in the convenience of an individual serving.  These bread sticks are adapted from a King Arthur Flour recipe.  They are quite simple to make and require minimal hands on time.  The herbs can be adjusted or changed depending upon your own preferences and what you have on hand.  Eat them alone or with Beef and Red Wine Stew, Corn and Vegetable Chowder, or any other dish where you want to soak up the juices.

HERB BREAD STICKS

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1 teaspoon garlic powder

4 1/2 cups bread flour

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoons water

1/4 cup King Arthur Flour artisan bread topping

  • Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and set aside.
  • Place the water, remaining olive oil, sugar, salt, thyme, rosemary, yeast, garlic powder, and flour the bowl of a stand mixer.  Turn the machine onto low and mix until a slightly soft dough forms.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour until puffy.
  • Spread the dough into the prepared pan, stretching it to the edges.  If it shrinks back, let it rest for 10 minutes then stretch again.
  • Using a lightly greased  bench knife or pizza wheel, cut the dough into 12 or 13 crosswise strips, about 1 inch wide.  Then cut the dough in half lengthwise so you have 24 to 26 strips, each about 6 1/2 inches long.
  • Cover the pan and let the strips rise at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes, until puffy.
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • In a small bowl, combine the egg and water.  Brush this mixture over the top of the strips.
  • Sprinkle the bread topping evenly over the strips.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until they are golden brown in color.  Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  • When the breadsticks are cool enough to handle, cut them along their score lines.

Yields: 24 to 26 breadsticks

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