I really don’t know when restaurants or anyone for that matter decided to start filling us up with bread and starches before a meal, but it has become a pretty habitual thing in our culture. Red Robin-our local burger joint-provides basketfuls of French fries. Any local Mexican restaurant serves crisp tortilla chips and salsa. Italian restaurants bring out fresh sourdough or French baguettes with fresh bruschetta for slathering on. And pizza joints fill us up with twisted breadsticks or Crazy bread and warm marinara sauce.
I went to the local Olive Garden Italian Restaurant with my co-workers today for a company New Year’s lunch. The first thing they brought out to us was the warm (well moderately warm) breadsticks glazed with butter and Parmesan cheese. That brought about some light conversation of meal starters at restaurants.
I guess some of these traditions may have rubbed off on me, because like any good restaurant, I decided to make my family of Famished Fish some Twisted Cheesy Breadsticks with Marinara Shots to accompany the Pizza Potato Soup I’d made one night.
I found this recipe online and with a few additions, this is what I came up with.
You probably already have these Ingredients at home.
In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, begin with:
1½ cups warm water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
Let this rest for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to foam a bit.
Then gradually with the mixer on low, or with a wooden spoon and a LOT of elbow grease, slowly add:
3½ cups flour
1 tsp Salt
Mix this just until incorporated, on low speed.
Then switch the speed to medium and “knead” the dough with the dough hook and smooth and soft.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, cover with a clean dish towel, and let rise for 10 minutes.
Did you notice this is totally vegetarian?! If you use soy cheese and olive oil, it can be vegan too!
Because I topped this with:
1 cup of shredded cheddar and jack cheese
1 Tb of parmesan cheese, reserved
1 Tb of melted butter mixed with 1 tsp garlic salt
Punch down the dough, flatten it out into a large rectangle about 3/4″ thick and brush with melted garlic butter. Cut dough into 1″ wide strips along the short end.
Follow the simple steps pictured below.
And bake at 400F on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper, for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden. Sprinkle with reserved parmesan cheese.
Serve with some warm marinara sauce that has been spooned into shot glasses.
And you know all the famished fish and finicky shark gobbled these twisted snacks all up!
Recipe derived from Six Sisters
Twisted Cheesy Breadsticks with Marinara Shots
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Number of servings: 12
Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 5
*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.
*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 Tb sugar
- 1 Tb. yeast
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar and jack cheese
- 1 Tb of parmesan cheese, reserved
- 1 Tb of melted butter
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine warm water, sugar and yeast.
- Let mixture rest for 5 minutes to allow yeast to foam.
- Then gradually with the mixer on low, or with a wooden spoon and a LOT of elbow grease, slowly add the flour and salt.
- Mix this just until incorporated, on low speed.
- Then switch the speed to medium and “knead” the dough with the dough hook and smooth and soft.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, cover with a clean dish towel, and let rise for 10 minutes.
- Punch down the dough, flatten it out into a large rectangle about 3/4″ thick and brush with melted butter mixed with garlic salt. Cut dough into 1″ wide strips along the short end.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Sprinkle cheddar and jack cheese on the strips.
- Fold the strips in half, sandwiching the cheese in the strip.
- Twist at both ends to create a twisted breadstick. Some of the cheese with poke out of the sides.
- Let strips rest for 20 minutes to rise.
- Transfer to a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Sprinkle with reserved parmesan cheese.
- Serve with marinara of choice.
What is your favorite meal starter?
You may also enjoy Whole Wheat Deep Fried Artichokes with Tarragon Dipping Sauce