Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gourmet's Fabulous Garlic Herb Bread Twists

This month's Gourmet includes a recipe for Garlic Herb Bread Twists - YUM.

We made these bread twists in the N Georgia mountains on July 8 and 9th. They are so good that we were embarrassed to note that three adults and one three year old ate all nine rolls at the two meals when we served them (that's 18 rolls between us all over two days and the three year old only ate about 1/2 of one at each meal)!

It's a two step deal. First you have to make the pizza dough. Here's the recipe for it:

2 packages active dry yeast
4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour divided, plus additional for dusting
2 cups warm water, divided
2 tsp salt.

  • Whisk together the yeast, 2 T flour and 1/4 cup warm water in a cup and let it stand until it develops a creamy foam (about 10 minutes)
  • Stir together salt and 3 cups flour in a large bowl.
  • Add yeast mix and remaining 1 1/2 cups warm water and stir until smooth
  • Stir in 1 cup more flour. If the dough is sticky, stir in just enough flour to make the dough pull away from the side of the bowl.
  • Knead dough lightly reflouring work surface when dough becomes too sticky, until dough is soft and elastic (about 10 minutes)
  • Divide dough in half and form two balls.
  • Generously dust balls all over with flour and put each in a medium bowl to rise.
  • Cover bowls with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled (about 1 - 1 1/4 hours).
Note: Dough can rise slowly in refrigerator for a day. Bring to room temp before using.

That last sentence is key. The first recipe of dough rose at room temperature and I used it that night. It was sticky and continued to absorb flour as I shaped it into sticks.

The bread sticks were fabulous and we ate all nine of them, but they didn't compare to the recipe the second night when I left the dough in the fridge overnight, rising. I didn't have time to get it completely to room temperature before using it the second night and those bread sticks were the best ever. My theory is that they didn't take in any extra flour.

OK, so my suggestion would be to let the dough rise overnight in the refrigerator.

Here's the recipe for turning them into the gorgeous (and delicious) bread sticks pictured above:

1 T finely chopped rosemary
1 T finely chopped thyme
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (2 oz) divided
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lb pizza dough from above recipe
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley

It probably helped the magnificence of the recipe that we cut all the herbs fresh from the garden just before chopping.

  • Preheat oven to 400 F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
  • Lightly oil 2 large baking sheets
  • Stir together rosemary, thyme, 1/4 cup cheese/ 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a separate bowl
  • Stir oil, garlic and 1/4 tsp salt and pepper in another bowl (I used all of this up on half the dough and remade it the next night)
  • Divide dough in half.
  • Keeping half the dough covered, roll the other half into a 15 X 10 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin(this is where the first recipe took in more flour)
  • Sprinkle one half of the dough crosswise with half the herb mixture, then fold the dough in half crosswise and roll lightly to form a 10X8 inch rectangle
  • Cut lengthwise into 9 strips (less than 1 inch wide) with a pizza wheel or sharp knife
  • Keeping strips covered with a towel, twist each strip from both ends and place on baking sheet 1 inch apart
  • Brush with 1 T garlic oil and let stand for about 5 minutes
  • Bake bread twists for 20 - 25 minutes until golden
  • Meanwhile stir together parsley and remaining 3/4 cup cheese in shallow pan
  • Immediately after baking, brush bread twists with remaining garlic oil and roll the twists in parsley and cheese until coated
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
DELICIOUS - we only made half the recipe one night and the other half the next night.

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