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Most Americans think of breadsticks as tasteless, pencil-like sticks of toast wrapped in waxy envelopes and served with antipasti at tacky Italian restaurants. But when homemade breadsticks are flavored with Parmigiano and a good dose of coarsely cracked peppercorns and served hot from the oven, there's no comparison. Serve them simply with drinks or as an accompaniment to soups, salads, or of course, a platter of antipasti.
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, about 110 degrees
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- 1/2 cup semolina
In a bowl, stir together the yeast, 1/2 cup of the flour and 1/2 cup warm water. Let stand until the mixture bubbles and rises slightly, 30 minutes. Add the remaining 3 cups flour, 1 cup warm water, the salt, pepper, cayenne and olive oil, and stir together to form a ball. Knead on a lightly floured surface, kneading in the parmigiano gradually, until smooth and elastic, 7 to 10 minutes. Alternately this can be made in an electric mixer on slow speed using the dough hook, kneading for 5 minutes.
Using your hands, shape the dough into an 15 x 5-inch rectangle. Brush with oil, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in warm place, about 75 degrees F, until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Place a pizza stone on the bottom shelf of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.
Sprinkle both sides of the dough with the semolina. Cut the dough into 5, 1-inch strips in the long direction. Then cut the dough crosswise into 5 sections. This will make 25 pieces. Pick up each piece of dough and roll and stretch to fit the width of a baking sheet, about 8 to 10 inches long. Place in a single layer, 1 inch apart, on an oiled baking sheet. Bake in the middle shelf of the oven until light golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the breadsticks from the baking sheet and place directly onto the baking stone and bake until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Life. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
81 calories; 2g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 187mg sodium; 14g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 2g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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