You know that slight leap in your heart when you finally succeed at something, after trying over and over again?
Exactly. The feeling when your heart expands and you go slightly light-headed because your efforts have finally borne fruits.
That was probably how I would describe my moment of triumph and joy in the kitchen two nights ago, when I finally made my breadsticks right.
It’s the fifth time that I’ve experimented with this dough, once or twice to make tart shells, and thrice to make breadsticks. But it was only this time that I was finally satisfied with how the bread sticks turned out.
I’ll let you in on the secret trick – add warm water in small increments to the dough.
If the dough seems to crack apart at the smallest pull and knead, keep adding water (in small amounts – you don’t want to get a mushy dough). Once the dough can be flattened with a rolling pin without breaking apart, and can be as easily molded into whatever shape you like, just like you would with plasticine or play-dough, then you’re on the right track. You might not need to use all the water stated on the recipe, and depending on the characteristic of the dough you use, you may have to use a little more or a little less.
Phew…! I feel like I’ve finally moved up the culinary ladder that little bit. But what an amazing feeling to have before you something that you’ve made, not just by following the recipe to the letter, but because you’ve managed to get the right consistency, by instinct and pure trial and error. It’s sooo liberating!
I’m still trying to conquer homemade bread, but whilst on my way there, at least I can say I’ve conquered breadsticks.
The plain kind of course. There are probably hundreds of ways for breadsticks to differ, you could add cheese, or garlic or parsley or all other herbs imaginable. But I like starting from the classic ones up.
You know, the kind that they serve you in fine-dining restaurants, fresh and warm from the oven, and which taste so beautifully homemade.
Nothing like those store-bought packaged breadsticks that have been mass-produced. Not like those at all.
The sort of breadsticks made of dough which has been kneaded by sheer force and an eagerness and love to cook.
Breadsticks which have been rolled painstakingly by hand, one after the other, and then baked in the heat of an oven.
These are the kind that look imperfect, with roughly-rounded edges and uneven thicknesses.
But scream “Made with Love” in every sense of the word.
CLASSIC BREADSTICKS (Makes about 20)
1) 250g of flour
2) 100ml of olive oil
3) 150ml of warm water
4) 1 teaspoon of of salt
5) 1 teaspoon of herbs (oregano, tomillo, dried garlic, whatever you like – this is optional)
1) Sift the flour into a mixing bowl
2) Add the salt to the flour, mixing together
3) Add the olive oil, mixing as you add to ensure the flour envelopes the oil
4) Add warm water bit by bit until dough reaches the right consistency
5) One the dough ready, roll it into a ball, and knead well on a cool, flat surface
6) Flatten the dough with a wooden rolling pin
7) Cut into 10cm pieces and roll them long enough and evenly
8) Place the pin-shaped dough on a well-greased baking tray
9) Bake in oven at 175 deg cel (medium heat for gas ovens) for 20 -30 minutes or until the sticks are ready (test by breaking off a small piece to check that the inside is well cooked)
10) Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving
Sift the flour into a mixing bowl & add salt to the flour, mixing together:
Add the olive oil, mixing as you add to ensure the flour envelopes the oil:
Add warm water bit by bit until dough reaches the right consistency:
Once the dough is ready, knead well on a cool, flat surface:
Flatten the dough with a wooden rolling pin:
Cut into 10cm pieces and roll them long enough and evenly, and arrange them on a greased baking tray:
Bake in pre-heated oven at 175 deg cel (medium heat for gas ovens) for 20 -30 minutes or until the sticks are ready (test by breaking off a small piece to check that the inside is well cooked):
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving: