garlic bread sticks

C. is a huge devotee of garlic bread sticks. And as a result, we’ve sampled many different recipes. Actually, I guess we’re all fans, because we have a tendency to turn almost any individually sized baked good into some sort of garlic bread stick variation — garlic pretzels, garlic biscuits, garlic knot rolls.

I bookmarked this recipe for the Bakers’ Banter’s Soft Bread Sticks a couple months ago. They compare them to Pizza Hut’s bread sticks, which I’ve never had, but if these bread sticks are any indication, they must be very tasty. This recipe is a variation of BB’s Blitz Bread (which I made last summer). The texture of the bread sticks is reminiscent of a focaccia, but unlike a traditional focaccia, these are super fast and super easy to make — from start to finish in just a couple of hours. The bread sticks are light and have a little crustiness to them, thanks to a second turn in the oven, and are rather addictive. I actually baked them for C. to take to camp for lunch tomorrow but we couldn’t help sneaking several. But no worries — the recipe makes 3 dozen!

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soft garlic knots

It’s Pasta Night at our house! I needed something bready to go along with Giada De Laurentiis’s marinara sauce and turkey meatballs, so this recipe came to mind. Baker’s Banter featured them awhile back and I tucked it away deep within the recesses of my brain. Mine didn’t rise as much as theirs and didn’t puff as much — I suspect there are two reasons for this. First, I probably should have mixed it longer — my dough wasn’t as smooth as their pictured dough. Secondly, (related to the first thing) I realized belatedly that the recipe suggests you add additional water if you are making these in the winter (due to drier conditions). A little more liquid would’ve made the dough smoother as well.

I made about half of them plain garlic butter and sprinkled the other half with Italian herbs. I made the mistake of trying to puree the garlic and the melted butter together in my food processor, as Baker’s Banter did, instead of following my intuition and either chopping the garlic in the processor before adding the butter, or crushing the garlic by hand. Baker’s Banter did their processing in a mini-processor; I used a full-size processor and the blade did not make adequate contact with the garlic and so I ended up with butter with largish garlic chunks. As a result, the knots weren’t really that garlicky. Lesson learned for next time. They were good with the pasta dinner nevertheless.