Breadsticks--oil or no oil?

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Joined Jan 15, 2001
I'm making long skinny breadsticks with a bread dough containing water, yeast, flour, salt and sugar. I would like it to bake just a little more golden. The taste is great but am never sure whether the recipe should have some oil or not. How about the sugar ---I'm always reading it's such a no-no in artisan baking. Any suggestions?
 
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Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hi Angrychef,

I'm certainly not a pastry chef, but, olive oil and perhaps a eggwash should help.

Also, (and i'm sure you know this already) give a really good spritz with water as you load)
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
Oil will give color and flavor- I would definitely use oil.

Sugar is your option, but only add a tiny bit for color (not for flavor).
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
D. I use oil in mine (canola), and no sugar. I think the secret to great bread stix's is double baking. I make them like usual which is rather bland then I store them until the day of the party. Then I spray them heavy with butter and season well with garlic, onion (what ever) then bake again. This way their golden, crunchie and tastie.

P.S. I just saw a no-brainer technique for bread sticks in Reinharts book. (I suppose everyone in the world knew this but me) But he rolls his sticks out like you would any large piece of dough and then slices them into sticks. The rise takes the squareness off of the look. I alway hand shaped into ropes and cut to length....next time I'm trying his method.
 
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
I think it depends on whether you want them to be crunchy or chewy. Oil tends to soften the crumb. I would definately stay away from the sugar. Just one man's opinion :)
 
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Joined Sep 21, 2001
I'll try the cutting method you mentioned. Rolling out breadsticks is too time-consuming for me to do it economically. The .03 in ingredients and the 2 minutes each for a breadstick syndrome......During my prep time, rolling out large numbers of breadsticks makes my guys "go postal". Red Bull and tedium- a dangerous combo!
 
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Joined Feb 21, 2001
I use the Armenian lavash recipe in William Sultan's book for breadsticks. It has both oil and sugar. I roll the dumb things individually because I think I get better control over size and shape. Sometimes I spritz them and roll them in flax, sesame and poppy seeds. Been using Reinhart's lavash a lot lately. Makes an unbelievable grilled pizza.
 
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Joined Jan 15, 2001
Thanks everyone for the helpful hints.

Wendy, which Reinhart book it this?

Yes, the labor of rolling out each individually is a bit tedious, specially if I have to make them by the hundreds. Bighat, what is the hydration of these lavash recipes? I think my bread dough is a bit on the wet side.
 
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Joined Mar 6, 2001
It's in "The Bread Baker's Apprentice", page 174.

He says "can be made from pretty much any bread dough."

"Roll out dough to the desired thickness, and then cut off individual sticks with a pizza cutter. To seed the breadsticks, you can either roll each unbaked breadstick on a wet towel and then in a bed of seeds, which is great for total seed immersion, or, you can brush or mist the pan of breadsticks with water and then sprinkle the seeds over the top just before baking them."

"You can then either lay the sticks out on a baking parchment lined sheet pan or individually stretch them further before laying them out, rolling them into swizzle twists, ovals, or curling them into distinctive shapes."



I always use egg wash, when I've used h2o I find the seeds really don't stick well. Does everyone else just use h2o?
I also thought it would be even quicker to use the multi-bladed pizza wheel (I can't think of the right name for it) that accordians out to size.
 
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Joined Feb 21, 2001
The book says 55%. It's a fairly tight dry dough. I don't mind rolling out dozens of these things. I schedule the time for it, I almost always know way ahead when I need to make a lot, and I find it to be a time for reflective and contemplative thought. And what's 200 breadticks? 8 trays of 25. Anybody can do that over and over.
 
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Joined Sep 21, 2001
So I tried the cutting the breadstick method today. I used my regular white dough and rolled it thin, brushed it lightly with olive oil and sprinkled it with herbs and Parmesan and pressed it in with the rolling pin, let the dough rest for a minute and cut it up. 35 great looking breadsticks in about 3 minutes. They baked up with a great shape, maybe even better than rolled because of a more uniform dough density. I'm sold. Thanks again DeBord, that made my day!
 
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Joined Feb 21, 2001
I used Reinhart's lavash recipe today for little crackers with onion flakes, olive oil and fresh rosemary. Not bad.
 
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