Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Parmesan Twists, No. 101 on the list of crazy ideas my sister and I come up with

We had a blast making these, well I did, Claire did all the hard work, I just helped out with the fun part. 

Bless her heart.  This recipe was adapted from a recipe in Fine Cooking.  Adapted why, because remember, I don't know how to leave a recipe alone.  Everyone loved these, I looked up and they were gone!  The recipe makes about 40 breadsticks which is the recipe that follows, we doubled it, and I am really glad we did!  The dough should be made the day before to have time to refrigerate overnight.  You can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  They are a snap to bake-up.
Crazy Spicy Cheese Breadsticks aka Parmesan Twists
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 Cup plus 2 Tbls warm water (85 degrees)
1/4 tsp sugar
3-1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/3 Cup Olive Oil, good quality
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Grey Salt for garnishing before baking
1 Tbl paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
3/4 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Make A Sponge:
In a medium bowl, mis the yeast, warm water, and sugar until dissolved.  Whisk in 1-1/3 Cups of the flour until the mixture is uniform and free of lumps.  Cover with plastic and let it sit in a warm place until bubbly and light and almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Make The Dough:
Whisk the oil and the seasonings into the sponge until well blended.  Pour the seasoned sponge into the bowl of your super amazing Cuisinart food processor with the dough blade (or an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook) and set to medium speed.  As the dough hook turns, gradually add 2 Cups of the flour.  Slowly add the Parmesan Cheese. Continue to add flour until the dough is only slightly sticky, but no longer wet.  When the dough behins to cling to the hook and pull away from the sides of the bowl, remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. 1 to 2 minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball and let it rise in an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap, until about doubled in bulk, about 3 hours.  Once risen, punch down the dough and refrigerate it overnight or for up to 4 days.
Shape And Bake The Breadsticks:                Let the dough sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before shaping it.  Heat the oven to 375 degrees and line several baking sheets with parchment.  Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a 12 X 20 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.  Using a pizza cutter (or a long thin, sharp knife), cut  the rectangle lenghtwise into 2 sections each about 6 inches wide.  Then cut each section into narrow strips about 1/2 inch wide.  Strech and twist each strip to almost twice it's original length and arrang the strips, HAVE FUN, 1/4 inch apart, on the baking sheets.  Spinkle liberally with Grey Salt to garnish.

Bake the beadsticks until golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.  Check them periodically as some of them will be thinner than others and will bake faster.  They're done if they feel firm when pinched.  Let them cool completely before serving.  They will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

You will notice one stray one in the photo that we tested with black sesame seeds.  Decided against them, didn't think they would look so great when guests smiled in photos  ;-)

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1 comment:

  1. Leslie,

    Thanks again for sharing your crazy bread sticks recipe. I did it with some sourgough (ummm good) I had from Christmas baking and they turned out well. Cutting with the pizza wheel was such a great tip. Since I don't use recipes much I get in a rut on the way I do things. I always rolled them out by hand and it took so long. With this method I will be making them more often, especially now in "soup season".


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