Why is it that when you’re dining at a Mexican restaurant, it’s so hard to avoid filling up on chips and salsa, at South Asian restaurants, it’s all but impossible not to nosh on too much naan, and at Italian restaurants, it’s a truly heroic act to resist eating an entire basket of fresh breadsticks? Well, the answer is quite simple: Tortilla chips and salsa, naan, and breadsticks are some of the most delicious foods out there. And when you make those oven-fresh breadsticks yourself, it can be even more satisfying. Plus, you can avoid filling up before the meal, because the meal’s timing is entirely in your hands.
"These pair well with salad and pasta," says recipe developer and registered dietician Kristen Carli of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness. "These would also be great dipped in a hearty minestrone soup." Or, you can just enjoy a couple as a perfect snack. After all, who ever said breadsticks had to be a side dish?
However you enjoy your breadsticks, these copycats of the popular Papa John’s breadsticks are a surefire crowdpleaser that you will enjoy making yourself. And chances are good that you already have all the ingredients needed to make a batch in your kitchen, so let’s get cooking.
Gather your ingredients to make these tasty breadsticks
All you need to make a dozen of these breadsticks are 1 ½ teaspoons of active dry yeast, 1 ⅓ cups of warm water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, 4 tablespoons of canola oil (divided), melted butter for the brushing breadsticks, and grated Parmesan cheese for topping them. That’s it!
And for the record, you can always scale down the recipe if you don’t want to make 12 breadsticks, but you’ll be so happy to have plenty on hand, and they keep well. "They will last in a large plastic bag at room temperature for up to three days," says Carli.
Make the dough, then wait
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the water, yeast, and sugar, stir them gently together, and then allow the mixture to sit for five minutes. You should start to see some foaming as the minutes pass.
Next, add flour, salt, and 3 tablespoons of canola oil to the mixer bowl, then mix until everything is combined using the paddle attachment. Now, switch to the dough hook attachment and mix for five minutes.
Remove the dough from the mixer, and put it into a medium bowl that has been coated with 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Turn the dough over a few times, coating it fully in oil. Next, cover the bowl with a lid or with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for one hour and 30 minutes.
Form the dough into breadsticks
After one hour and 30 minutes have passed, uncover the dough, punch it down to get the air out, and remove the dough from the bowl. Cut it into 12 even pieces, then roll each piece into long breadstick shapes and place them on large baking sheets that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
"The most difficult part is rolling these out to breadstick shape," says Carli. "It’s okay if these are not perfectly shaped, because they will still taste great no matter what they look like."
Loosely cover the breadsticks with plastic wrap, and allow them to rise for another hour.
Bake, then coat your breadsticks, and enjoy
When the hour is almost up, preheat your oven to 425 F. Then, bake the breadsticks for ten minutes, or for a bit more if they remain doughy, or a bit less if any start to brown too much. This is a good time to melt the butter in the microwave or in a sauce pot on the stove.
Remove the baked breadsticks from the oven, brush each one with melted butter, and then top them with sprinkles of grated Parmesan cheese. And that’s it. Now, it’s time to enjoy … but be warned: You likely won’t be able to eat just one! (And that is totally not a bad thing.)
- 1 ⅓ cups warm water
- 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- butter, for brushing breadsticks
- grated Parmesan cheese, for topping breadsticks
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add water, yeast, and sugar. Stir gently, and allow to sit for five minutes. You should start to see foaming.
- Add the flour, salt, and 3 tablespoons of canola oil, then mix until combined using the paddle attachment.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment, and mix for five minutes.
- Remove dough from the bowl, and place in a bowl that has been coated with 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Then, turn dough over a few times, coating it in oil.
- Cover with lid or plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 ½ hours.
- Punch down dough and remove from bowl, then cut into 12 even pieces.
- Roll each piece into a long breadstick shape, and place on large baking sheets that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cover with plastic, and allow to rise for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Once preheated, bake the breadsticks for ten minutes.
- Remove from oven, brush with melted butter, and top with Parmesan cheese.