Better Than Olive Garden Garlic Butter Breadsticks

I am not a master bread baker.  I am not even an average bread baker.  I am a complete novice when it comes to bread baking, but I do hope to learn a few things as I experiment with recipes in my home kitchen.  This particular recipe looked and sounded good: Better Than Olive Garden Garlic Butter Breadsticks.  After all, the only reason anyone ever goes to Olive Garden is for the salad and breadsticks, right?  (Okay, so I’ve actually eaten meals there even after consuming large amounts of salad and breadsticks.)  But back to my test kitchen . . .

I forgot to pull an egg out of the refrigerator before I took the picture, but other than that and the water, here are the ingredients I used:  2014_0629June20140015  As usual, it’s all store-brand stuff 🙂  Then I went to start putting things together, and lo and behold I see the ingredient list calls for 3 t yeast.  Well, 3 t is equal to 1 T, so I got out the tablespoon to see how much yeast was in one packet:  2014_0629June20140019  I considered opening another packet, but decided not to.  This may have been a mistake . . .  I also wondered about just tossing everything into the mixer bowl.  Other bread recipes I’ve made instruct you to combine yeast, sugar and warm water and let it sit for a bit before combining with the rest of the ingredients.  I had already put all the sugar in the mixer bowl, though, but I did stir the yeast into the water and let it sit for a moment or two, all the while wondering if that was a good idea or not . . .

The recipe does warn that the dough will be “slightly sticky” and “won’t completely pull away from the side of the bowl”.   My results:  2014_0629June20140027  That was more than “slightly” sticky.  At this point I was really doubting any chance of success.

I forged ahead though, and left the dough to rise for an hour and a half.

BEFORE: 2014_0629June20140030  AFTER: 2014_0629June20140033  Bigger, but not exactly “risen”.   Ah, but it was a humid day out and the air conditioner was doing its best to make it not so inside the house.  Probably not the best day for bread baking, I think to myself.  But I’ve already started, so I must carry on!

I dutifully rolled out the dough, cut it into 24 sticks, and transferred those sticks to baking sheets.  It’s really hard to move sticky dough from one place to another:  2014_0629June20140036   I let those “bread twists” rise and I baked them.  But I had two baking sheets and the one with fewer on it looked done at 14 minutes:  2014_0629June20140039  The other breadsticks, though, looked like they could use another minute or two.  So, telling myself I’d pull those out “in just a minute” and that I had no need to reset the oven timer, I left them in.  When will I stop lying to myself about needing to set the oven timer for a minute?  Sure enough, I forgot until more than “a minute or two” had passed.  So when I pulled out the second sheet I had this:  2014_0629June20140042  A tad overdone, they were.  Even the better looking breadsticks were not what they should have been, but I’m chalking it up to “operator error” and not “faulty recipe”.  I need to try this one again one day.  And I will, because what I ended up with was edible, even if it wasn’t the result I was seeking.  Next time I will measure out more yeast and I will choose a less humid, sticky day.

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