Brent and I had an agreement to only spend $30 on two or more gifts this Christmas. It goes without saying that it was a challenge to find the perfect gifts on such a budget. But I pushed through and found what I wanted to give.
While opening our presents, Brent pulled out a huge wrapped box and said he went over budget by a couple of dollars. That’s what he said…. “a couple dollars”. When a beautiful brand new Kitchen Aid mixer was revealed, I couldn’t help but squeal that his math was a little off.
I already had a Kitchen Aid that I practically use daily. But it was a hand-me-down machine given to me from a friend that wanted to throw it out. Sure there was nothing wrong with the used mixer, but it certainly isn’t as pretty as a shiny new green one.
The new mixer was put to good use right away with these breadsticks. It purred like a kitten as it cut through the dough like butter. This gift will definitely be put to good use for many years to come.
Parmesan Rosemary Breadsticks
2 packs quick rise dry active yeast
2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
½ cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
2 tsp. salt
6-8 cups flour
2 Tbl. fresh rosemary, minced
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
3 Tbl. butter, melted
Stir together the yeast, water and sugar in a mixing bowl until the sugar dissolves. Allow to rest for about 2 minutes to give the yeast a chance to activate. Add the lightly beaten eggs and oil to the mixture. With the mixer on low and outfitted with a dough hook, slowly start to add the flour one cup at a time until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. It should take at least 6 cups, but I have added up to 7 cups before. Halfway through add the salt to the mixture. The entire process should take about 5 – 8 minutes.
Scrape the dough onto a floured board. Gently knead 8-10 times while adding more flour as needed. The dough should form a soft ball. Place into a large bowl, cover and allow to rise for 1 – 1 ½ hours.
Punch down the dough and place on a floured board. Lightly coat a sheet pan with cooking spray. Gently cut 3 oz balls and stretch to form a 10 inch stick. Place the sticks ½ inch apart on the sheet pan.
Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly brush the tops of the sticks with butter. Sprinkle the tops with rosemary and parmesan cheese. Bake the sticks for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. The baking time depends on the thickness of the dough. Makes about 20 – 25 breadsticks, depending on the size.