These easy Homemade Garlic Herb Breadsticks are made totally from scratch and are soft, fluffy, lightly chewy, buttery, garlicky sticks of absolute deliciousness! Great with pasta, soup, salad or as an appetizer!
In my food world, one of the best things of all is freshly-baked bread. A slice of warm bread just out of the oven with butter is absolute heaven. Warm, fresh bread covered in melted butter, garlic, and herbs? Mmm…even better!
Many people are intimidated by making yeast bread. If you are one of them, don’t be! For a long time, I was too, but I’m here to tell you that it’s a lot easier than you think. It might take a little practice, or you might get the hang of it right away. Either way, these simple homemade breadsticks are a great place to get started!
A FEW WORDS ON YEAST…
First, let’s talk a little about yeast. It is, after all, the most important ingredient in making yeast bread. In this recipe, you use what is called active dry yeast (not rapid-rise or quick-acting yeast), which you find in packets or jars either in the baking aisle or in the dairy/refrigerated aisle of the grocery store.
The three most important things to remember when using active dry yeast in making bread are:
- Yeast is a living organism. It has to be fresh and alive or your bread will not rise. Check the expiration date. Don’t use yeast that has expired.
- Yeast needs some warm liquid to activate it – but the temperature is very important! Liquid that is too cold will not activate the yeast, while liquid that is too hot will kill the yeast. Make sure your liquid is between 100° and 110°F. The best way to check is with a thermometer.
- When allowing the dough to rise, you want a warm, draft-free location. The ideal temperature is actually between 80° and 90°F, but most of us don’t keep our homes that warm, so room temperature (more in the 70°F or so range) is fine. Very cold temperatures (and drafts) will slow down the yeast, resulting in a longer rise time, while higher temperatures may kill the yeast (so please don’t be tempted to crank the oven and put it in there to speed up the process!).
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE HOMEMADE GARLIC HERB BREADSTICKS:
- Active dry yeast
- Bread flour
- Light brown sugar
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Dried basil
- Dried oregano
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED:
- Electric stand mixer with dough hook
HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE GARLIC HERB BREADSTICKS:
See? I told you it was easy! You wanna try it, right?
I think the most challenging part of making any bread dough is knowing when the dough is right. For these breadsticks, your goal is a nice, smooth, elastic ball of dough. It should not be overly wet or very sticky.
The dough should come together pretty quickly in the first minute or two of kneading. It should pull away from and clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball that is not too wet and sticky. Then you will continue kneading it for a few more minutes until you get the smooth, elastic ball of dough.
One thing to be aware of is that humidity can affect the amount of flour you need. I’ve never needed to add additional flour or water when making these breadsticks, but you will be able to tell in that first minute or two when the dough is first coming together whether you need to make an adjustment.
If the dough is too dry and is not coming together, add water, a tablespoon at a time until it does. If it’s too wet, loose, and very sticky, sprinkle in flour, a tablespoon at a time until it comes together (make sure to add only as much flour as is needed because adding too much flour can make your breadsticks tough rather than soft and fluffy).
You can change things up by using different herb and seasoning combinations in the topping. Some Parmesan cheese sprinkled on these would be delicious! You could even just make them plain breadsticks if you’d like (just use the butter).
If you don’t want to do the twisty thing, you don’t have to. Just spread the strips of dough out on the two baking sheets. I just think the twisted breadsticks look cool and are a little more fancy and fun!
- Can I use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour? Yes, and it will work fine! Bread flour just has more protein in it and will produce more gluten strands when kneaded, resulting in a slightly chewier bread.
- I don’t have a stand mixer. Can I mix the dough by hand? Sure! Now, I will admit that my electric mixer has spoiled me, and I have not ever made this particular recipe by hand – but there’s no reason why you can’t! That’s how they used to do it, right? Once you mix the dough ingredients together in the bowl, you will then have to transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it by hand until you have a nice, smooth ball of dough (if it takes the mixer 5 minutes to get there, you will probably have to knead it at least that long if not longer).
These breadsticks freeze really well, too! 16 breadsticks is a lot for just the two of us, so I wrap the extras in foil and then put them in a freezer bag. When I want a few, I just pull them out and let them thaw. Then I wrap them in foil and warm them in the oven.
If you want to serve these as an appetizer and want a really good sauce to dip them into, check out my recipe for Quick & Easy Homemade Spaghetti Sauce. That and this? YUMMM!
I hope you try this recipe for Homemade Garlic Herb Breadsticks and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!
Homemade Garlic Herb Breadsticks
- 1¼ cups warm water (100° to 110°F)
- 1 tablespoon sugar, plus a pinch, divided
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (one ¼-ounce packet)
- 3¼ cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
Garlic Herb Topping:
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter
- In a small bowl, combine the warm water, a pinch of sugar, and the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes to proof (the mixture should become slightly creamy and foamy–if it does not, your yeast is likely no longer good, so get some fresh yeast and try again).
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add the yeast mixture, the flour, the sugars, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the ¼ cup olive oil.
- With the dough hook, mix on medium speed until a smooth, elastic ball forms, about 5 minutes.
- Oil a large bowl with the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, and turn it to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (room temperature is fine) until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 12×15-inch rectangle.
- Cut the dough into 16 equally-sized strips.
- Lightly twist each strip of dough and place on the baking sheets.
- Cover the breadsticks with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. They will be slightly puffier at this point, but they will puff up more when they bake in the oven.
- While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400°F, combine the garlic powder, basil, oregano and ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl, and melt the butter.
- Lightly brush the tops of the breadsticks with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the breadsticks.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown on the top and bottom. Note: I recommend baking the breadsticks in the middle to upper portion of your oven. Otherwise, the bottoms may get too brown.
- Brush the tops of the breadsticks with the remaining butter as soon as you take them out of the oven.
- Best served while still warm!
- Here are some tips for making sure the dough is the right consistency. The dough should come together pretty quickly in the first minute or two of kneading. It should pull away from and clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball that is not too wet or sticky. Then you continue to knead it for another few minutes until you get the smooth, elastic ball. Humidity can affect the amount of flour you need, so if you notice in that first minute or two that it’s too dry and not coming together, add water, a tablespoon at a time, until it does. If it’s too wet, loose, and sticky, sprinkle in flour, a tablespoon at a time, until it comes together better. Make sure to only add as much additional flour as is needed because adding too much can make the breadsticks tough rather than soft and fluffy.
- If you don’t have an electric stand mixer, you can mix the dough together by hand. Then, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand until a nice, smooth dough forms.
- These breadsticks freeze well.
Recipe adapted from Laura in the Kitchen.