Parties are great. Evidently. I should say parties are great for cooks. They are opportunity to bake stuff you normally wouldn’t bake; make fiddly cakes that are just too much effort for one or two people; cook food that is otherwise too naughty to have mid-week; try recipes that produce reams of food, that in the absence of a party, would sit going stale for days on end. Parties are great for feeders, like myself. They are not, however, so good for food bloggers.
Although these breadsticks are wickedly simple to throw together, and take only 15 minutes or so to cook, what with serving drinks, and welcoming guests, by the time I remembered to take a picture of them, there was just this lonely half left, and even that had to be prized out of someone’s hands before I could snap it. As soon as they were served they were snapped up, despite my warnings that they were still hot. The steam coming out of the chewy, doughy centre when they were broken open did burn one guest’s tongue I fear, but this didn’t stop them being demolished at almost lightening-fast speed. This photo could, therefore, be said to represent the most beautiful, delicious, elegant plate of breadsticks ever made, the very fact of their non-existence being proof of their worthiness. Or, y’know, it could actually be a photo of a slightly anaemic, half-gnawed breadstick, the final remainder of a fast-disappearing breed. Sigh. Next time I’ll be prepared.
Chilli and parmesan breadsticks
Adapted from Gluten Free Gobsmacked
The first time I made this recipe I added sundried tomatoes to the ingredients and it was delicious, and the breadsticks looked amazing as well. Alas, I had run out of sundried tomatoes this weekend, so decided to add some chillies instead. They gave a very slight kick but I think next time I would use double the amount, 3 teaspoons, for this amount of dough. I was also a little puzzled by the yield as the recipe is supposed to produce 8 foot-long breadsticks, but with triple the ingredients from the original recipe I only got 10 8-inch-long breadsticks about 1 1/2 inches wide, both times I have made this. Maybe it’s a volume issue; never could get my head round all those sums.
3/4 cup (60g) parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups (400g) gf flour blend
2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/2 tablespoons dried milk powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried chillies
3 teaspoons dried active yeast
1 1/2 cups (375ml) warm (40 C) milk
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
6 tablespoons (90ml) light olive oil
3 teaspoons cider vinegar
1. In a large bowl mix the gf flour blend, xanthan gum, dried milk powder, salt chillies and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl heat the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds until warm. Stir in the honey and the yeast and leave to activate for a few minutes.
3. Whisk together the oil and vinegar and stir into the dry ingredients. Once the yeast mixture has a layer of frothy bubbles on top, stir this into the dry ingredients as well.
4. Line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment. The dough should be cohesive enough to handle so pull off pieces the size of a cricket ball and roll them out in your hands into sausages an inch or two in thickness, and about 8 inches long. Lay these out on the baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Leave them in a warm place to prove for 15 minutes or so.
5. While the breadsticks are proving, preheat the oven to 220 C. After about 15 minutes the breadsticks should have nearly doubled in size; for a lighter texture leave to prove a little longer. When ready, sprinkle coarse salt on the tops of the breadsticks and place in the hot oven for 15 minutes, or until golden on top and crispy on the outside. Leave to cool for as long as you can wait, then serve with humous, salsa or your favourite dip.
Makes about 10 chunky breadsticks, 8 or so inches long. If you want skinnier, crispier sticks, bake them for only 10 minutes.