So, if you’ve been watching the news, you might have seen that the Seattle area has had a tad bit of crazy weather lately.
On top of the snow, we’ve had an ice storm, wind storms, and possible flooding on the way. It’s just so much fun! (Please note my sarcasm.) One of the joys of living in the far-out burbs, is that we have lots of trees – and when you have a lovely combination like I’ve mentioned, it can lead to only one thing: a Power Outage. (Yes, I capitalized it on purpose.)
(The last time we had a serious power outage, I was 9 1/2 months pregnant with my oldest – and the power was out for seven days. Let’s just say that we bought a generator that year. Such a good choice – at least for some heat.)
This time, thankfully, our power was out for less than 24 hours (knock on wood – there’s still wind on the way). But it sure put a cramp in my cooking style and my ability to see what else was going on in the social media world. (I know, you’re shedding a tear for me right now.) But that’s okay. We did family bonding time. (And we didn’t kill each other. Yay!)
Anyhow, while the power was flickering off and on the other night, I was able to (barely) pull off these golden warm copycats of one of my favorite bread products.
Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks, adapted from full bellies.happy kids
1 1/2 c warm water (between 110 – 120 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/4 c bread flour
2 T butter, melted
2 T sugar
1 T salt (or less, if you used salted butter)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 t garlic powder
2 t salt
In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes, covered. Mixture should be frothy.
In separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to yeast mixture. Add melted butter. Mix with dough hook of stand mixer or wooden spoon until fully combined. Knead dough for a few minutes just until dough is smooth. Do not over-knead!
Grease a cookie sheet. Pull off pieces of dough and roll out into strips. Cover the dough and let sit in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Make your butter topping. Bake breadsticks for 12-15 minutes. About 6 or 7 minutes in, brush the breadsticks with half the butter mixture. Then continue to bake.
Immediately upon removal from the oven, brush the other half of the butter on the sticks.
These were certainly an adventure to make. A little power out here, and a quick flicker there, really added to the ambiance of baking breadsticks. I was just hoping I could get them finished.
And I did.
Now, if you can ignore my inability to make consistent oblong shapes, you can see that they got to rise about a half hour more than the 45 minutes called for – because we lost power right about when I was going to put them in.
So, I’m not sure if it was the extra rising, or the fact that I placed both cookies sheets of breadsticks in at the same time (or that I kept checking them every three minutes after the original twelve), but I ended up baking them for a full half hour. And when they came out, wow, did they look good.
The salty garlic butter topping seemed really potent to me, as I mixed it up – and from the small taste of it I got from my fingers after holding the breadsticks for coverage. I was worried it was going to be too much flavor…but it wasn’t. Since the breadsticks were both so thick and light, the butter topping was actually quite perfect.
This may not be an exact copy of their breadsticks, but they are pretty darn close, if you ask me. They were a huge hit with the whole family – but seriously, how can you go wrong with bread, butter, and garlic?
And they sure did the trick as an addition to our last fully cooked meal (before the power went out, that is).
Cross your fingers for me that we’re done with the crazy weather for a while. Please.