Just when I thought my life was full enough, my daughter up and decided to graduate from high school. Now, trust me, I’m excited about that, but the timing wasn’t quite right. That’s the thing about kids, from the moment you find out you’re pregnant to the moment they’re born and beyond, they have a way of throwing your schedule to the wind. Well, we planned, prepared, and had fun at her graduation party and now we’re trying to get back into that schedule I had envisioned. Busy summer days means meals we can throw together quickly while still savoring the quality food we love. I thought these Homemade Garlic Breadsticks would be perfect to make and freeze and then pop in the toaster oven to have with our summer meals. Is there anything better than breadsticks? Well, having a daughter graduate from high school is pretty nice too…
Here’s Something About Me You Probably Didn’t Know…
Have you ever played that game where you try to guess something about the other person you didn’t already know? I’ve got a couple of things up my sleeve to catch people off guard with this game. My favorite one happens to involve a college level sport that I played. I know. I know. I was a college athlete. It’s crazy. It may take me the better part of an hour to finish a 5K (slight exaggeration for poetic purposes), but yes, I played on a college level team. Of course, the college team I was on was the bowling team. Don’t smirk quite. The story gets better. I was only on the team because my boyfriend at the time was on the bowling team and the only way the men’s team could compete was if they had a women’s team…and they didn’t have quite enough women. I liked spending time with my boyfriend. He liked bowling. So… I joined the bowling team.
That story is SO much better when I end it at, I was a college athlete.
What’s Golf Have to Do with Breadsticks?
You may be asking yourself, why is there a golf ball in the photo above? Is Marly so sports obsessed that she’s going to start including random sports balls in her photos? Or maybe you already know I’m just goofy enough to throw a golf ball in the middle of a photo…just for the fun of it.
There is a story about that golf ball and it has nothing to do with my high glamor college athletic bowling experience. Golf and bowling? Come on!
Have you ever looked at a recipe that said it would create 20 breadsticks and you end up with 10? I usually find myself at the end of a recipe wondering what the heck I did wrong to have such a huge discrepancy in yield. So, I thought to myself, why not provide a visual guide. You make 20 dough balls about the size of a golf ball, roll them out and tada! You’ve got 20 breadsticks.
You want to know something else? I made two batches of these breadsticks and froze them. Now when we decide to throw together a quick pasta dish…having a yummy Homemade Garlic Breadstick on the side will be as easy as pie.
Um, am I the only one that wonders why we say that? Pie is not really that easy. But these breadsticks will be super easy to throw in the toaster oven.
The Minimalist Approach to Breadsticks
You want to know a couple of other things I like about these breadsticks? It’s sort of a minimalist thing, but here goes:
- Because you make these breadsticks yourself, you can control the size. No more Jolly Green Giant-sized breadsticks weighing you down!
- Because the vegan buttery garlic coating is on the outside, there’s no temptation to slather on additional margarine which I can sometimes get a little carried away with.
- I made these breadsticks with one bowl, a couple of measuring cups/spoons, and a couple of pans. That means easy clean-up!
- This recipe is a one-step rise process which means I have more time to lay by the pool and eat bonbons. Hmm…guess I need to make some bonbons now.
- With 20 breadsticks on hand, I can store some in the fridge and some in the freezer and we’ll have delicious breadsticks ready for those summer “throw a few things together” meals.
- There’s some whole wheat in these breadsticks…just enough to give it a robust flavor!
- Breadsticks are so zen. For more on that keep reading…
It’s The Little Things That Matter
I don’t spend much time at the bowling alley anymore, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling proud of the accomplishment of being on that college team. It makes me realize that even the little things that we’re involved with can make such a difference in our lives. Something that feels like work at one point can be a source of pride at another. And that’s how I feel about breadsticks. I know, I know. Now I’m getting all schmaltzy about breadsticks. I can’t help myself!
I’m serious when I say it’s the little things that matter.
It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen — John Wooden
Little actions add up to big accomplishments. Even a few steps in the kitchen count on your Fitbit. A few minutes a day can lead to learning a new language. An after lunch apple can keep doctors at bay. And…a breadstick next to a plate of pasta can make it special.
Sometimes it’s good to go for special.
Homemade Garlic Breadsticks
- 1½ cups water
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast 1 package
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 3-4 cups of all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading/handling
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine melted
For the Garlic Topping
- 3 tablespoons dairy-free margarine
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Prepare a baking pan by placing a piece of parchment baking paper over it.
- Place the water in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl and heat for 11 seconds. Insert your finger in the water which should be about the same temperature as your finger. If not, heat it for another couple of seconds. you don't want the water to be too hot. When the water temperature is just right, add the yeast and sugar. Give it a gentle stir to combine and set aside to allow the yeast to proof (get bubbly).
- In a large bowl, add the flour and salt. Stir to combine. Pour the yeast mixture and the melted margarine over the flour and stir to combine.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, adding a little flour here and there to prevent it from becoming sticky. The dough should become smooth within a couple of minutes. That's when you know you're ready. Move the dough to one side of the bowl and pour about ¼ cup of flour in the other half of the bowl. I like to have that flour handy for when things get kind of sticky. Tear off pieces of the dough about the size of your palm and roll it into long pieces. If it's sticky you can lightly tap it into that flour in the bottom of your bowl to help. Place it on the prepared pan, allowing several inches between each.
- When you've rolled out all the dough, turn your oven up to 150F for a couple of minutes. Your oven probably won't even get all the way to 150F in this amount of time, but it's ok. Your goal is just to warm up the oven a little bit. Turn the oven back off and place the pan (or pans) of breadsticks in the oven. It should be a nice, warm place for them to rise. This should take about 40 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the Garlic Topping by melting the margarine, and then adding the garlic, salt, and parmesan.
- When the breadsticks have doubled in size (it takes about 40 minutes), remove the pans from the oven and heat it to 375F.
- Gently spread about half of the Garlic Topping across each of the breadsticks and sprinkle with a little dried oregano. I crinkled the dried oregano between my fingers to help break up the larger pieces. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove from the oven and coat with the remaining topping mixture. Serve warm.