A week ago - I am debating if I must post these sticks here or not ...I am not very sure if I got these bread sticks right...am not sure if these are meant to be this way, texture-wise. I replaced some APF with some whole wheat, added some extra flour to make the dough smooth as the recipe says. But the dough must also be sticky. I added a bit of water to make it sticky. Baked some till a light golden brown, baked some a little longer as I thought a little bit more color would be nice. Refrigerated some dough as I can't fit the entire dough in one go in two of my ovens. All the while thinking I have done a mistake too many. Wasted effort...
But wait! They taste good!! In spite of me doing all that playing around! My kids have been eating these since the time they came out of the oven. My son just had 2 of these for 'dessert' after his meal. And I am already planning to bake these again very soon...variations, other similar recipes...you got it?
A week later- I baked these sticks again today. I had baked these with part whole wheat previously and was left wondering if I had done it right. Halved the recipe and baked with only APF today. The outcome - Tasty bread sticks again. The conclusion- A forgiving recipe which will give you good taste. Don't we love recipes like these? Specially those with low fat and taste?
Am aiming at spacing out my bakes, particularly those with more sugar in them. So savory it has to be more often than sweet...sigh!! did not hear it? Double sigh!!! Dragging my mind away from the sweeter pleasures and moving on to the savory, the best thing that happened to me lately - yeast - is my savior. I now can't imagine my baking life without yeast. And if you know me, you know - if I think yeast, I think Champa... yes, I absolutely love her breads.
Her Cumin Onion Bread Sticks are one the many bookmarked recipes on her blog. Am hoping, if I can like these a lot after possible not-to-be-dones, you can surely try these too. As Champa says, you cant really go wrong with these - soft or chewy or crisp, doesn't really matter. A nice snack to munch on, a lovely tea -time treat. Add flavors of your choice to suit your taste, keeping the basic recipe the same. Champa made with cumin and pepper, I made with thyme and garlic. You could try mint, fenugreek, coriander, grated cheese, mixed herbs and red chilli flakes...
You can find Champa's recipe here. Recipe adapted from the book Land O Lakes.
Here is what I did.This is half of the quantity of what Champa has given.
Onion, finely chopped - 1/2 cup
Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
All purpose flour - 1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ( I added one tbsp more here, you may need to add upto 1/4 cup more)(scoop flour into the cup with a spoon and level method)
Warm water - 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon plus some for cooking the onions.
Active Dry Yeast / Instant Yeast - 1 1/4 teaspoon
Sugar - 1/2 tablespoon
Crushed pepper - to taste
Garlic, finely chopped - 1 tablespoon
Fresh thyme leaves - 1/2 tablespoon or more to taste
Procedure: Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions. Add some salt (not too much!) and let the onion wilt, while cooking on medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook till the raw smell disappears. Add the thyme leaves. Turn off the heat. Let the mixture cool.
In a large mixing bowl, take the sugar and the yeast. Add the warm water. If using active dried yeast, let this stand for about 5-10 minutes till the mixture turns frothy. If using instant yeast, you can straightaway carry on with the rest of the procedure. Add the salt and the 1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour. Mix well to get a smooth dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes. But hey, my dough is quite sticky!!! Hmm... oiled my hands and kneaded it. Now goes in the onion mixture. Need more flour when the onion releases moisture. Add some more flour. I added one tablespoon. Your dough must be smooth and a little sticky. My dough was smooth but not really sticky. So as Champa suggests, I added a wee bit of water .. as in a few drops. Do not add too much at a time. Coat the dough with oil, transfer to a suitable bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise till double. This may take 40 minutes to an hour.
When the dough doubles, deflate and divide the dough into small balls roughly uniform in size. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. I tried to roll the dough into a rectangle and then cut into strips, but the dough was too soft to be lifted on to the tray without breaking. So made them into balls again.
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F. If using a dark pan, bake at 190 degrees C / 375 degrees F. You may in this case need to bake longer.
Grease your baking trays. Dust your counter top with flour. Roll the balls of dough into ropes of almost uniform thickness if not uniform length. Flour your hands as needed. Place the ropes on the baking trays. Bake for 12- 18 minutes or till golden brown. My sticks browned in about 25 minutes though the temperature was not at a lower setting.
Serve warm. I liked them as is, for the lovely flavor of thyme and garlic. You could of course serve these with a complementary dip or sauce.
Well.. so you see all the imperfections here, but I still got tasty bread sticks. The onion adds a nice crunch and bite to the bread sticks. They were soft, but not very soft and some of them turned out chewy. A recipe to be tried for sure, for the potential in variety and flavors you could try. As always, tips most welcome on this..
These bread sticks are being sent to Susan for her Yeast Spotting .