Olive Garden Breadsticks
A Top Secret Restaurant Recipe
Anyone who loves Olive Garden is probably also a big fan
of the bottomless basket of warm, garlicky breadsticks served
before each meal at the huge Italian casual chain. My guess is that
the breadsticks are proofed, and then sent to each restaurant,
where they are baked until golden brown, brushed with butter and
sprinkled with garlic salt. Getting the bread just right for a good
clone was tricky -- I tried several different amounts of yeast in all-purpose
flour, but then finally settled on bread flour to give these
breadsticks the same chewy bite as the originals. I discovered that
the two-stage rising process is also a crucial step to making the
perfect Top Secret Recipe for these very popular soft breadsticks.
Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water in a small
bowl or measuring cup and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes,
or until it becomes foamy on top.
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Use the paddle
attachment on a stand mixer to mix the softened butter into
the flour. If you don't have a stand mixer, use a mixing spoon
to combine the butter with the flour. When the yeast mixture
is foamy, pour it into the flour mixture and use a dough hook
on your mixture to combine the ingredients and knead the
dough for approximately 10 minutes. If you don't have a stand
mixer, combine the ingredients and then knead the dough
by hand on a countertop for 10 minutes.
Place the dough in
a covered container and let it sit for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it
doubles in size. When the dough has doubled, measure out 2-ounce portions
and roll the dough between your hands or on a countertop
to form sticks that are 7 inches long. Place the dough
on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, cover and set aside
for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size once
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake the breadsticks for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
When the breadsticks come out of the oven, immediately
brush each one with melted butter and sprinkle with a little
Makes 12-13 breadsticks