Monday, January 28, 2013

Stand Out Sides: Olive Garden Breadsticks

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John and I don't often go to chain restaurants.  In fact, in the 3+ years we've been dating, I think I can count on one hand the number of times we've eaten a real meal in a nationally recognized restaurant.  It's one of the things I love most about John - he is always willing to try new things!

Invariably though, there are certain, let's say, staples of these restaurants that I adore.  For instance, Outback's delicious bread.  Or, Olive Garden's italian dressing (that sister M would drink by the gallon if we let her).  Or, these, Olive Garden breadsticks.  I had my doubts about this recipe from the get-go but when Mom told me she was making soup for dinner, I knew they would be a perfect fit.

I was so impressed with the flavor and resemblance to the real thing that I made them only a week later as accompaniment to another soup recipe I was making (more on that in a few weeks, promise!).  Sometimes a copycat is just that, other times, it can masquerade as the real thing.  Serve these tonight, close your eyes, and pretend that someone else has cooked your meal.  If you can get someone else to serve it to you, all the better. 
Olive Garden Breadsticks (adapted from here)
Serves:  12 (12 breadsticks)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a large bowl.  Let sit for 10-12 minutes, until the yeast is foamy.  Then, add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and vegetable oil and stir with a sturdy wooden spoon for 3-5 minutes, until combined.  Add the remaining flour and using your hands, knead the dough for 5-7 minutes until elastic and smooth.  Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise (about 90 minutes) until doubled in size.

Deflate the dough.  Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll each out into a breadstick shape (6-9 inches, tapered at the ends).  Place each breadstick on a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise an additional 60-90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Bake the breadsticks 12-15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.  Meanwhile, combine garlic powder and remaining salt.  When the breadsticks are removed from the oven, and still warm, brush the tops of them with the butter.  Then sprinkle the garlic and salt mixture over the tops.  Serve immediately.

Until the next time my oven is on...


  1. I have gotten to be such a breadie (is that a word?) that I have a batch of bread dough in the fridge all the time now. I wonder if that is the reason I can't lose weight. Oh well never mind, I look upon it as my duty as a food blogger. You know I'll be trying this recipe soon.

  2. Yum!! I love these!!! Just pinned it to try one day. :)

  3. Love these...did a batch yesterday and another today,my family loves it..

  4. This article is interesting and useful. Thank you for sharing. And let me share an article about health that God willing will be very useful. Thank you :)

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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