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When you think of Olive Garden, chances are pretty good that the first thing that comes to mind isn’t pasta; it’s breadsticks. That’s because their breadsticks are almost shockingly delicious. These tender Olive Garden-style breadsticks at home are by far one of life’s greatest pleasures!
These Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks I’m sharing today are the best. They’re so soft with a nice crisp crust, melt-in-your-mouth breadsticks dusted with Parmesan, garlic, and herbs. The garlic parmesan seasoning tops them off to total perfection. Fresh garlic, Parmesan and subtle flavours of herbs make these breadsticks the best! So delicious and tempting. They might be the “most delightful thing you’ve ever had! It is the ultimate treat!
These Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks are so darn versatile. Super easy to make and loaded with flavour. They are the perfect side dish for dinner, such as pasta, soup, salads and pretty much any main dish! Breadsticks go with practically everything! Any time you would reach for a dinner roll or have crusty bread with a meal – you can choose those breadsticks instead. I like to serve homemade breadsticks with Portuguese Caldo Verde Soup, Easy French Onion Soup, Cappelletti soup, Ginger Leek Butternut Squash Soup, Vegetable Soup, Kale Potato Soup, Butternut Squash Bisque, Cannelloni alla Fiorentina, Smoked Ham Spaghetti Carbonara, 3 Minutes Smoked Sausage Pasta, 3 Minutes Chicken Pasta, Cheese and Ham Lasagna, Chopped Blue Cheese Salad among others.
You can also serve as an appetizer. It is incredible with bruschetta or with this Caprese salad. Set these out with some dip, marinara or ranch, and your guests will be in heaven. No one will be able to resist the hot, crispy, cheesy breadsticks coming out of the oven.
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- 1 1/4 cups Water - 80-90°F/26-32°C
- 2 tbsp Butter - room temperature or Olive oil
- 3 cups Bread flour
- 1/4 cup Dry milk powder
- 3 tbsp Instant Mashed Potato Flakes
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning - see homemade recipe in notes* Or use pizza seasoning
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Active dry yeast
- 3 tbsp Butter - melted or Olive oil
Garlic Parmesan seasoning
- 1 tbsp Garlic powder - or 2-6cloves finely minced
- 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese - finely grated –or Romano cheese
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning - see homemade recipe in notes* Or use pizza seasoning
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Using the dough setting and hand shaping
- Place all ingredients for the dough in a bread machine in the order listed above (or specified for your bread maker).
- Use the dough setting.
- Check the dough consistency during the kneading cycle. If needed, add more flour or liquid.
- Prepare baking sheets. Line with parchment paper or grease bottom and sides well and set aside.
- When dough setting finishes, remove dough.
- Remove dough from the bread machine and divide the dough into two balls.
- Fold the dough according to instructions and let it rise.
- Before shaping the loaves, let it rise for about 30 minutes to 1 hour or until about doubled in size, in a lightly greased bowl covered. Resting allows the gluten to relax and makes handling easier.
Shaping the dough
- When ready to be shaped, roll each dough ball into a 18X22.5cm (7"X9") rectangle.
- Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into thin strips. Slice each rectangle into 8 sticks of about 2.5 cm (1") width.
- Or you can make these any size you want, from thin to larger. Just adjust the cooking time.
- Twist each stick if desired.
- Place on a greased baking sheet (or parchment paper) with the dough distributed as evenly as possible, about 12 mm (1/2-inch) apart.
- Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rise for 20 minutes to 1 hour. Just let it rise until it doubles in size.
Mix garlic parmesan seasoning
- Whisk all the ingredients together.
- Note: For this easy breadsticks recipe, you will want to use Powdered Parmesan for its soft, flaky texture and so it will easily adhere to the breadsticks.
- Preheat the oven to 200-220°C (400-425°F).
- Optional for a crispy and crunchy crustCreate steam in the oven with boiling water on the oven floor. Place a sturdy pan (cast-iron preferred) on the bottom shelf of the oven as it preheats, then pour 1/2 cup or so of water (or ice cubes) into the sturdy pan as you’re loading the loaves into the oven. The result? Billows of steam trapped in the oven.Keep the sturdy pan with boiling water on the bottom of the oven while the bread bakes.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and carefully brush breadsticks end to end with melted butter (or olive oil).
- Sprinkle breadsticks generously from end to end with the garlic parmesan seasoning mixture. You can use as much or as little Garlic Parmesan seasoning on your breadsticks.
- Return to the oven, rotating the pan for even browning. Bake for more 2-5 minutes or until golden perfection.
- If you want softer breadsticks, bake them for less time; bake for more time for crustier breadsticks.
- Remove immediately from pans and let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Leaving them on the pan to cool could result in a soggy bottom crust.
Homemade Italian seasoning* You can easily make a homemade Italian seasoning. For 1 tbsp Italian seasoning use:
- 3/4 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp marjoram
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 tsp sage
Make-ahead Garlic Parmesan seasoningYou can even make the mix in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. Just make sure to use garlic powder and do not use fresh minced garlic if you are going to store it for later. Store the extra seasoning in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Twist tipsI like to twist each strip before setting them on a baking sheet, but twisting isn't 100% necessary if you want them to be flat and smooth like Olive Garden's breadsticks. Let them rise for another 15 minutes while the oven preheats. If twisting, better not to twist too many times or too tightly. Only 2-3 twists at the most are needed. Also, if the dough is too thick, it will most certainly unravel as they rise. Sometimes when they are stubborn, I press down on the whole twist with the palm of my hand to sort of “imprint” the shape. Do not worry about the shape. Every time I line them up on the baking sheet, I worry they won’t “turn out.” They start so ugly! They are thin, flat, and uneven, and you can see every imperfection. But then, they start to rise, and when you pull them out of the oven, they are so soft, buttery, garlicky, parmesan-y, and deliciously beautiful!
- You can use milk instead of water and dry milk to make the dough.
- You can use garlic powder or fresh garlic.
- Use olive oil or butter, or both, whichever you prefer.
- Nutty, salty Parmesan makes everything better, so I only suggest omitting it if someone is allergic or if you are in a bind and don’t have it on hand.
- Add some grated parmesan cheese in the flour mixture before kneading if you want strong parmesan flavours.
- Add some garlic powder in the flour mixture before kneading if you want an intense garlic flavour.
- Mix up your herb choices depending on your preferences!
- You can add coarse sea salt to the garlic parmesan seasoning.
How to storeIf you have any breadsticks leftover (doubtful, but it happens sometimes), the best way to store them is in an airtight container or plastic bag on the counter at room temperature. First, let breadsticks cool to room temperature, then place them in an airtight bag and squeeze out excess air. Or breadbox, or wrap in foil and store at room temperature. Cooling them first is essential, so you don’t trap them in excess condensation. I do not suggest storing breadsticks in the refrigerator. The refrigerator tends to dry the bread out and become stale faster than at room temperature. So the counter or a breadbox works best for storage. Keep freshly baked breadsticks in a cool, dry area. They will stay good for 3-4 days at room temperature before they start getting stale.
If you must refrigerate breadsticks (e.g., due to a lack of pantry storage space or very hot, humid room conditions), the bread will typically last for only about 2-3 days before getting stale. Can you freeze breadsticks? Yes, to freeze: Wrap a loaf in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. Then place the bread in a freezer-safe plastic bag. How long do breadsticks last in the freezer? The bread will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.
How to reheatYou could eat leftover room temperature breadsticks and be happy, but they are so much better warmed! To reheat, you can wrap the breadsticks in foil and place them in a 175°C/350°F oven for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. Note: The foil is necessary to protect the crust of the bread.
To reheat frozen breadsticksIt would be best to thaw them at room temperature before reheating them. Thaw breadsticks overnight. Or, if you forgot, place breadsticks on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 175°C/350°F for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.
The dough can also be made using a mixer. Just knead the dough with the dough hook for about 8-10 minutes on a low setting. When kneading by hand: about 10-12 minutes.
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