One main rule I have for myself when it comes to eating is that if I want to eat something that would typically be processed, I have to find a way to make it from scratch. Doing this cuts out SO many chemicals and preservatives, and also tastes a lot better! The inspiration for this recipe stemmed from my past love of Pizza Hut breadsticks (anyone remember the Book It! program where you’d get a personal pan pizza for reading in grade school?!) and my boyfriend mentioning he used to love Pizza Sticks as a kid (which they used to serve in grade school cafeterias haha!). So this gave me an idea to create my own combination of the two – Pizza Sticks but with the Pizza Hut Breadstick topping. All from scratch. I am SUPER pleased with how they turned out, but this recipe definitely takes a huge hunk of time! I would save it for a day when you’re based in the house doing odds and ends (especially waiting for the dough to rise), or enjoying a lazy football Sunday! I promise, the time and effort are certainly worth it. Enjoy! 🙂
Makes Around 1 and 1/2 Dozen Breadsticks
Recipe by © Alysha Melnyk 2018
Oven, Preheated to 400°F
Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer
Liquid Cooking Thermometer
Small Sauce Pan
9″ x 13″ Baking Sheet
*Disclaimer – I am including certain brand names of things I use (just because they are personal favorites of mine), but feel free to use whatever brand you like, is the cheapest, is on sale, what you have on hand, etc.*
For the Breadstick Crust:
1 Pack Active Dry Yeast (*1 pack normally has around 2 and 1/4 teaspoon)
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1/4 Cup Hot Water at 110°F-115°F (*This is important to activate the yeast, but not kill it.)
1/2 Cup Dry Milk Powder (I used Bob’s Red Mill Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder)
2 Teaspoons Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Olive Oil (*and extra for coating bowl)
2 Cups Bread Flour (I used King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour)
1 Cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Onion Granules
1 Teaspoon Garlic Granules
1 and 1/2 Cups Water
*Extra unbleached all-purpose flour and water for kneading the bread
For the Filling/Topping/Serving:
18 Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (*Tip: Try to get a low-fat, part-skim cheese which should help prevent a ton of leakage. It’s somewhat inevitable, but I found the type of cheese helps. Either way, it tastes great!)
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted
1/2 Jar Dipping Sauce of Choice (I used Whole Foods 365 Organic Marinara Sauce)
4 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan
1 Tablespoon Onion Granules
1 Tablespoon Garlic Granules
1/2 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Basil
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Small Pinch Bowl by Jeremy Ogusky, Creator of Ogusky Ceramics (based in Jamaica Plan, MA)
- For the first step, pour 1/4 cup hot water into a small cup. Use liquid cooking thermometer to ensure water temperature is between 110°F-115°F (so the yeast doesn’t die). Poor in yeast packet, and add in 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Stir a bit with a spoon, and set aside for around 5 minutes. This forms the “yeast cake” that is incorporated into the bread. (*You’ll see the mixture bubbling/foaming, which showcases yeast activation.)
- After 5 minutes, combine 1/2 cup dry milk powder, 2 teaspoons light brown sugar, newly formed “yeast cake” (just dump the whole mixture in), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon onion granules, and 1 teaspoon garlic granules in mixing bowl, and mix until well combined.
- Add in 2 teaspoons olive oil, and mix again until well combined.
- Next, add in 2 cups bread flour and 1 cup water (do this in 1/2 cup bread flour – 1/4 cup water increments between mixes). This helps everything mix together nice and evenly.
- Next, add in 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup water (do this in 1/2 cup all-purpose flour – 1/4 cup water increments between mixes).
- ***If the mixture looks too watery, add in a sprinkle of flour and mix. Do this until the mixture is firm but slightly moist. If mixture looks too dry, add in teaspoon of water and mix. Do this until the mixture is firm but slightly moist.
- Flour surface you are rolling bread out on.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes, and form into a nice round ball.
- Coat large bowl lightly with olive oil and a dusting of flour.
- Please dough ball in bowl, cover with clean kitchen towel and place on counter.
- Allow 1 and 1/2 hours for dough to rise.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- When dough is done rising, flour work surface again and divide dough into two balls.
- Using rolling pin to roll 1 dough ball out (I would try and get around 1/4 inch thickness. (*Coat rolling pin with flour if dough sticks).
- Use pizza cutter to cut strips of dough (I had mine around 2″ wide, 6″ long based on the size of my cheese sticks).
- Place cheese stick in center of dough strip, and use fingers to brush water around it. Place another dough strip on top, and press and fold dough to seal. Use pizza cutter to trim up excess dough, and try and seal sticks the best you can.
- Place on parchment paper lined sheet (about 1″ apart).
- Repeat for all cheese sticks and other dough ball.
- For dough scraps, take and knead into another ball. Use warm water to help combine scraps, and knead with your hands to combine everything. Repeat rolling out, cutting, and cheese stick stuffing process until all dough is used.
- Once all sticks are formed, take a fork and prink holes all over top and bottom of cheese sticks.
- Brush a coating of melted butter all over top of breadsticks (you’ll use around 1 tablespoon).
- Place in the oven, and cook for 30 minutes to 35 minutes until tops and bottoms are golden brown (my top rack cooked for 30 minutes, bottom rack for 35 minutes because dough was thicker).
- While breadsticks are baking, heat marinara on stove.
- Combine 4 tablespoons parmesan, 1 tablespoon onion granules, 1 tablespoon garlic granules, 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in small bowl, mix, and set aside.
- Once breadsticks are done baking, immediately brush with butter (I used 1 tablespoon in total) and sprinkle with parmesan seasoning mixture. Serve with marinara sauce.
- Eat warm, and enjoy! 🙂
***Leftovers reheat SUPER nicely!
***Don’t panic, some cheese will spill out more than likely. Everything will still taste great! 🙂