Good Morning America Recipes

Olive Garden Breadsticks

A Top Secret Restaurant Recipe

Todd Wilbur prepares popular dishes from your favorite restaurants.
Servings:Over 8
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

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.


  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm
  • water (105 to 115 degrees F)
  • 16 ounces bread flour (3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • On top:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Cooking Directions

    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

    garlic salt.

    Makes 12-13 breadsticks

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: sugar, dry yeast, bread flour, garlic salt

    Course: Appetizer/Starter

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