Thursday, November 12, 2009

Garlic Butter Bread Sticks

Because Pizza dough is so versatile and I also enjoy being able to spontaneously make pizza and bread sticks with the dough, I make it in large batches, freeze some, use some and keep some in the fridge. The recipe I use is one that actually matures in the refrigerator for a cold ferment.. I made some bread sticks from a ball of the dough to go with a dinner of veal picatta and brussels sprouts. The recipe I use for pizza dough is posted below. 

To make these breadsticks, just take out a ball of the dough, apply a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a bowl at least 2 X the size of the the ball of dough. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roll the dough around in the oil so that all surfaces have oil on them. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest and rise till double in size.  

Punch down and roll out on a floured board a rectangle about 10 X 6 inches. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into bread sticks about 1 1/2 inches wide. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Melt 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) of butter in a small sauce pan. To the butter add 8 cloves of finely minced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Allow to simmer on low for a few minutes to blend flavors. 

Take each breadstick and pull through the butter so that it is covered on all sides with butter. Twist and lay on a pan lined with a silpat sheet.  Continue with the remaining sticks, placing them about 1/2 " apart. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about an hour. If you are in a hurry, you can skip the rise and they will still rise in the oven, just not as much. 

Before baking pour any remaining butter and garlic on the breadsticks. Bake for 20 minutes and serve hot. 

Overnight Pizza Dough
makes 8 9 inch pizzas


1 cup lukewarm water (110°F to 115°F)
1 envelope active dry yeast, divided
1 cup all purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (110°F to 115°F)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 envelope active dry yeast
6 cups (or more) all purpose flour
Olive oil
Yellow cornmeal or semolina
Sauces and toppings
Place 1 cup lukewarm water in large bowl of heavy-duty mixer. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon yeast (reserve remaining yeast for dough) and 1/4 teaspoon flour over water. Let stand until yeast dissolves and mixture looks spongy, about 4 minutes. Add remaining flour and whisk until smooth; scrape down sides of bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge rest at room temperature in draft-free area overnight (about 12 hours; sponge will look bubbly).
Add 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 envelope yeast, and remaining yeast to sponge, then add 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, beating with dough hook to blend after each addition. Continue to beat until dough is smooth, comes cleanly away from sides of bowl, and is only slightly sticky to touch, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 5 minutes. If dough is very sticky, beat in more flour, 1/4 cupful at a time. Scrape dough onto floured surface; knead into smooth ball.
Brush inside of large bowl with oil. Add dough; turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; chill 6 hours, kneading dough down when doubled (after 2 hours).
About 1 1/2 hours before baking, dust 2 baking sheets with flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead gently; shape into 16-inch log. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Knead each piece into smooth ball. Arrange 4 balls of dough on each sheet. Cover loosely with kitchen towels and let rise until almost doubled, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
If using pizza stone, place in oven.
Preheat oven to 500°F for 45 minutes. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough with flour. Press into 5-inch round, then gently stretch and roll out to 9-inch round.
If using pizza stone, sprinkle pizza peel or rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. If not using pizza stone, sprinkle large baking sheet with cornmeal. Place dough round on cornmeal; brush lightly with oil. Top as desired. Slide pizza onto stone or place pizza on baking sheet into oven.
Bake pizza until sauce is bubbling and crust is crisp and brown, lifting edge of pizza to check underside, about 14 minutes.
To speed things up, you can bake two pizzas at the same time. To ensure even cooking, be sure to reverse the position of the baking sheets after 8 minutes. Baking two pizzas at once may take longer than 14 minutes.

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