Prepare two baking pans by lining with parchment paper.
Place the water in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 11 seconds. Insert your finger in the water, which should be about the same temperature as your finger. Or use a thermometer to achieve between 105°F/41°C and 109°F/43°C.
Add yeast with warm water to a mixing bowl (for a hand-held or stand mixer). Stir in the sugar, butter, and salt.
Stir in 2 cups flour. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and blend until well combined.
Change out the paddle attachment for the dough hook. Pour in the remaining flour and knead the dough for up to 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should become smooth and elastic, while still slightly sticky.
Transfer the dough ball to an oiled bowl, cover with a damp kitchen towel, and set aside to rise until doubled in size, roughly an hour. See post tips for recommendations on the best places to rise dough.
Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured cutting board. Cut the dough ball in half, then cut each half in half. You're left with 4 pieces of dough. Cut these into thirds to make 12 equally-sized pieces of dough. Roll each piece into a 7-inch long log. Place these on the prepared baking sheets, leaving space between each of them. Cover with dampened kitchen towels or plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
Bake breadsticks on the center rack for 12 to 14 minutes. Move the pan to the top rack for the last few minutes of baking to give the breadsticks a golden crust on top.