Sunday, November 15, 2015

Olive Garden Bread Sticks Copycat

My family is no stranger to the Olive Garden. My husband worked there off and on for 8 years, including working as the culinary assistant. So he gave me a few pointers on these bread sticks, but part of it just wasn't going to happen (drenching them in "well it's not really butter....I think it's worse than margarine. It melts at room temperature so they just paint it on until it's completely saturated"), and some wasn't possible (being shipped to my doorstep so I can just pop them in the oven).

I feel like the flavor of these were super spot on and extremely delicious. They were all eaten in a few minutes! The texture was mostly there, but I think I kneaded my dough too long by accident so they weren't as soft! I also didn't portion out  or "roll" the dough at all. I chose a much easier way, which turned out to work perfect! So I'll write the recipe the way it originally is from Cooking Classy , but I'll include my notes at the bottom, too :).

PS- most of my pictures for the next few months will be sad to look at. I don't have any special lighting so once it's dark so early, I'm working with dark natural light and bright awkward artificial light. So it is what it is!

What you will need:
  • 1 C + 2 T warm water
  • 1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 T sugar, divided
  • 3-3 1/4 C flour*
  • 1 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • salt*
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder*
  •  Using the whisk attachment (or just a whisk yourself), whisk together the warm water and yeast with 1/2 tsp sugar until the years is dissolved
  • Let that sit for a good 10 minutes until it's nice and frothy
  • Add in the reamining sugar (1 T+ 2 1/2 tsp)
  • Add in the salt
  • Add in the vegetable oil and, using the paddle attachment, blend until just combined
  • Add in 1 1/2 C of the flour and blend until just combined
  • Switch to the dough hook and add the last 1 1/2 C of flour while the dough hook kneads the dough until the dough is pulling away from the sides, smooth and elastic (still slightly sticky), adding in up to another 1/4 c of flour if needed*
  • Place ball of dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap to raise in a warm setting for about 1 1/2 hours
  • Pinch down risen dough
  • Divide dough into 12 equal pieces (2 oz. each by weight)*
  • Roll each piece into a 9" rope*
  • Place each rope onto a buttered baking sheet
  • Cover and let them raise again for another hour
  • Preheat oven to 425*
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes*
  • Run the end of a stick of butter over the top of the bread sticks straight out of the oven
  • Sprinkle on the salt and garlic powder
My notes-
*It says you can add up to 1/4 C more of flour, but I found that after the initial 3 C it was plenty
*I would reccomend not using regular table salt. Something a big bigger or more crunchy is nice. I just used some Kosher salt with a tad bigger
*I didn't measure out the salt or the garlic powder, I just sprinkled them on until it looked right
*Instead of portioning everything out, I rolled out the dough into a large square. Using a pizza cutter, I trimmed off the edges so I had a nice straight sided square. After that I cut strips into the dough with the pizza cutter horizontally, and then one slice down the middle vertically, so I had strips of dough.
I put them on the baking sheet and kind of sculpted the ends just a little so they were a bit more "round" but it's not necessary. They'll still come out round once they've baked!
*Since my bread sticks were a little shorter, they were done after 8 minutes and I turned the broiler on the for the last few seconds to get the golden brown look

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