I’m not even going to hold back on my statement about these bread sticks. They rock!
Almost guiltily, my husband looked at me after his first bite and said, “Honey? Umm, these are better than Olive Garden.”
“Of course they are, my wise, thoughtful, angelic Honey Pot”, I said nonchalantly. “Why would I bother with anything less than perfection?”
I didn’t really say that, but it would have been such a great thing to say if I was making a sappy commercial.
I mean, really though, why would I bother making Olive Garden quality bread sticks when I can make better than Olive Garden bread sticks and so can you! Plus, can I let you in on a secret? Olive Garden bread sticks do not taste like they tasted years ago. Something has changed in their recipe and I’m sorry to say that it was not a change for the better.
I’m being rude I suppose. It’s just that I LOVE Olive Garden and to have one of their main food attractions diminish in flavor and quality makes me sad. I keep trying their bread sticks, hoping that they will taste like they used to taste, but alas, they do not. Color me…disappointed.
Now, however, both you and I can make better than Olive Garden bread sticks. They are easy and can be made by hand or with a mixer!
I have a favorite brand of garlic bread topping that I like to use, Johnny’s. Since I’m a worrier by trade, I started thinking about the possibility of no longer being able to get my hands on this product. So I fiddled around with making my own garlic bread topping. Note to self: Do not play test kitchen with this mix on Sunday prior to going to Church. There is not enough toothpaste or peppermint gum on the planet to hide the fact that you’ve been taste-testing the various recipe combinations.
Yes indeedy, I got so lost in perfecting the recipe that I didn’t even stop to think about the odoriferous garlic breath I was creating. Too late, it suddenly hit me that I was going to stink to high heaven at Church (no disrespectful pun intended). Just to make sure that I was right about the garlic breath thing, I asked John to confirm, or hopefully deny, my fears, so I stood a couple of feet away from him and blew lightly. After I resuscitated him, he said that if I ever did that to him again he would pack my clothes and I could pick them up on the curb 20 blocks away downwind from him.
Well. So. I went to Church anyway, but with a sign around my neck, “Hearken all ye saints! Beware, for I have eaten garlic on this very day and I stinketh.”
Guess what? This stuff rocks. We’re talking serious rocking. I am so stinking proud! (Pun intended)
Tomorrow there will be a tutorial using this same recipe to make hamburger buns. EXCITING!!!!
- As I frequently like to remind those who are just learning to work with yeast dough, watch the amount flour that is added to the dough. It is easy to add too much flour, making a heavy end product. While fresh out of the oven, the warm bread will taste terrific, but as the bread product cools, it because heavy and dry.
- Proper kneading is key to great texture. Kneading develops the gluten, which is the ‘secret ingredient’ in a soft, yet slightly chewy texture.
- The Yeast. Put the yeast in warm water or milk, about 110-degrees F. If the water or milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If the liquid is too cold, the yeast will not activate. Inactive yeast will just sit there, doing nothing, and your bread will not rise. If you’re into flat, brickbat bread that tastes like yeast, then by all means mess up the yeast. Sugar, just a pinch, is needed to help activate the yeast; it’s what the yeast eats to expand (don’t we all!) With a little practice, proofing yeast will become second nature.