So I decided to make bread sticks to serve with the tofu, lentil, corn chili I had made to serve at my book group potluck (always put your best vegetarian foot forward, I figure). Who doesn’t love crunchy, chewy flavorful bread sticks? (Well, clearly there are some who don’t.) I love them best when they have a flavor of their own and some texture so I loaded these ones up with seeds. It is just a bonus that seeds are so good for health in so many ways. Cumin, mustard, sesame, and poppy seeds all appear in these bread sticks, which are great plain, dipped in soup, or spread with butter. This recipe made 10, my children ate half of them before the book group even arrived. They are that easy and that good.
Seeded Bread Sticks
- 1/2 cup hot water (not boiling)
- 1 1/4 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups flour (you can use half whole wheat)
- 1 tsp kosher salt plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus extra for the bowl and for brushing
- 3/4 Tbs cumin seed
- 3/4 Tbs mustard seed
- 1 Tbs sesame seed
- 1 Tbs poppy seed plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 Tbs corn meal
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Put the hot water in a bowl then sprinkle the yeast on top of it. Stir the yeast into the water along with the sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Let stand for about 5 minutes then mix in the oil, salt, and another half cup of flour. Add in all the seeds, the garlic powder and the pepper and mix well. Knead in flour until you have a nice dough, it should spring back when poked, not be hard, and not be sticky, it could take another half to whole cup. Knead the dough for 5 minutes then shape into a ball and lightly oil it and the inside of a bowl. Put the dough in the bowl, cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm place (if you are doing this in the winter or in a cold room preheat your oven for 2 minutes then turn off and put the dough in the very slightly heated oven). Allow dough to rise for 1-1/2 hours, kneading it for a couple of minutes every 20-30 minutes. Shape into bread sticks one of the following ways: either pinch off pieces (you should get 10-12) and roll into 1/2 inch wide sticks or roll the whole dough into a flat wedge, about 1/4 inch thick, then slice into 1/2 inch strips. Put the sticks on a greased cookie sheet, lightly brush with oil then sprinkle with a pinch of garlic powder, poppy seeds, and kosher salt. Put the pan into an unheated oven, turn the oven on to 350 and bake until the sticks are lightly brown, ~35 minutes. Remove from the oven and wait a minute or two then remove the sticks from the pan. Enjoy.