First of all, I need to introduce my apprentice bread maker.
On Sundays, I often just tell her which bread I want for the dinner, and she gets right on it. It is often a joint effort, but there have been many times where she takes it from start to finish. It is wonderful!! Get training your daughters, ladies!! And by the time they are 13 or 14, they can make homemade bread for you! ; ) It reminds me of this book from my childhood...has anyone else read it??
She has 21 children that she trains to do all the housework and play music and paint pictures, etc. Not that I want 21 children...but it is nice to have one that is trained in breadmaking!
1 T yeast in 1 1/2 cup warm water
Add 2 T sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Until it looks like this:
In a different large bowl, combine
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Stir together, then add yeast mix.
Stir together and add up to a 1/2 cup more flour to create a SOFT but not sticky dough. You want to use as little flour as possible, but still be able to work with the dough.
I use 100% whole wheat flour that I grind myself and it makes very light and delicious breadsticks...but only if I am careful to not add too much flour.
Let sit 15 minutes.
When the 15 minutes is almost up:
Melt 3 T. butter on a cookie sheet in a warm oven. DON'T BURN!! It only takes a minute or two. Remove from oven and sprinkle on about 1 tsp. of herb mix (recipe at bottom!) and 2-3 T. of parmesan cheese.
Roll out dough and cut strips...
Cover with a towel and let rise on top of oven for 15 minutes. Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes. I love them JUST BARELY cooked through. You don't want them to be doughy...but I think I used to overcook them and then they would be dry.
Here's the recipe for the Herb Mix. We use this mix with our italian bread which you will find included with this post.
Italian Herb Mix
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried rosemary
1 T. dried basil
1 T. dried parsley
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
Mix all ingredients together with the back of a spoon. The minced garlic helps it clump together a little. Store in ziploc bag in refrigerator.