Dec 5, 2009

Bread Sticks with Sage

After the Sweet Potato Gnocchi, I had a fair amount of leftover fried sage and a tiny bit of the fried chestnuts. What to do? Sage and chestnuts are perfect in stuffing. Stuffing's main ingredient is bread. I like making bread so I made bread but not stuffing. Bread but not for slicing. The result was a combination of bread sticks, rolls and pretzels (pretzels in shape only). The dough is simple. The recipe is from the Sunset Cook Book of Breads. The book belongs to S who bought it new for $2.45 in 1977. It's really a nice book. It's not a giant tome on the art of bread. It's perfect for the kitchen, for carrying around the house in case you want to read it while on the couch, lying in bed, sitting on the deck, wherever you might be planning a bread in your head.

The only changes I made to the recipe are the addition of sage and chestnuts and I might have used bread flour for half the flour. I honestly can't remember. That's sad considering I made these just a week ago. Here are the ingredients.

4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (don't see why you couldn't combine flours)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 packets active dry yeast
1/4 olive oil
1 1/4 warm water
3 tablespoons chopped fried sage leaves
1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon water (optional)
Coarse salt

The book assumes you're using a standing mixer. I don't own one and don't need one. Besides, I like to make bread with my hands.

In a bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, the sugar, the salt and the yeast. Add the oil and combine. Gradually add the warm water until it's gone. Then add enough of the remaining flour, a half cup at a time, until the dough has come together enough to work with your hands.

Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface or continue to work in your large mixing bowl. Using well-floured hands, bring the dough together and work into a nice smooth ball. It was at this point that I kneaded into the dough my chopped fried sage and chestnuts.

This recipe doesn't call for kneading or a long rise time.
Once the extra ingredients were incorporated into the dough, I divided the dough into about 15 or 16 equal pieces. Using the same basic coil-rope-snake shape, I created bread sticks, pretzel shapes and coiled bun shapes.
I set these aside oiled baking sheet to rest for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
If you like, before you bake, give these an egg white wash and sprinkle with coarse salt and/or your favorite combination of seeds. Then just bake until they are as brown as you like. Misu has to investigate everything. And when I have my face to the camera and the camera pointed at the product, I can't see or hear her approach. Suddenly, her nose is in the frame as I'm clicking. Savory bits of fried sage and crunchy morsels of salt. These are great just as a snack or with soup or stew or a salad.


FoodTravelDiva said...

Fun looking breadsticks! Just stopping by to let you know about the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest. I thought you might want to enter some of your recipes for a chance to be published in the book. Here's the link for more info:
Good luck!

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