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REC: Olive Oil and Fennel Breadsticks

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Joined: Dec 14, 2005


Posted to Thread #5502 at 5:32 pm on Jan 28, 2007

This was is Bon Appetit, January 1993. I make the dough in the food processor; if I'm making pizza dough I often do this afterward, since the processor is doughy anyway, and then freeze the breadstick dough for later.

Olive Oil and Fennel Breadsticks. Makes 48.

Combine in a measuring cup:

3/4 cup tepid water
3/4 cup tepid beer
1 envelope (2 tsp.) dry yeast.

Let sit until foamy

Measure into the processor with the plastic blade:

3-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 Tbs. salt

With machine running, add the yeast mixture. Let run until dough form a ball.


3/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. fennel seeds

Process until dough comes together. It will be very soft; add a little more flour if necessary. Let sit a few minutes, then process 30 seconds more. Turn out onto a floured board and knead 30 seconds.

Let rise in an oiled bowl, covered, until doubled, about 1 hour.

Spray 2 large baking sheets with oil spray. Preheat the oven to 350*F.

Beat an egg with 1 Tbs. water for a glaze.

Punch the dough down and divide into four balls. Cut two of the balls into 12 pieces each. Roll each piece into a 12" rope. Place on prepared sheets, 12 to a sheet. Brush with egg glaze. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Repeat with the second half of the dough, or freeze it for later.

Store airtight at room temperature for up to a week.

NOTES: These are irresistable, and perfect with an antipasti platter. They lose their crunch if they sit out too long, so I keep them sealed until the last minute and only put them out a handful at a time.

I find that adding cold beer to hot tap water gives you the desired tepid effect while leaving the other half of the beer nice and drinkable.

Sometimes the dough resists being rolled into ropes. I've learned to roll the pieces into sausage shapes, let them sit a minute, then re-re-roll them into longer ropes. It's faster in the long run.

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