Bread Sticks

Jan Rood-Ojalvo
Recipe by
Jan Rood-Ojalvo

We served these chewy bread sticks with lemon hummus at a dinner party, and guests agreed they would be happy if that was the entire menu! The batch was demolished. Enjoy shaping them as you choose, and sprinkling on a variety of toppings. And mostly, enjoy eating them with friends!

1 package (1 scant tablespoon) dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons sugar
5 to 5 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons olive oil (or unsalted butter)
Pretzel or bagel salt (or extra coarse salt)
poppy seeds, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, garlic powder, cinnamon sugar, dried rosemary, or fresh ground pepper

Yield: 48 small or 32 large bread sticks

  1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook (or by hand), mix yeast, sugar and flour. Add water gradually, as mixer turns, until dough forms a ball. (Add water or flour, as needed, so dough is not sticky.)
  2. Knead until smooth and elastic.
  3. Divide into 32 equal pieces for large bread sticks, 48 for smaller ones. Working with 1/4 of the dough at a time (keep remaining dough under inverted bowl to remain moist), roll each into a rope. For long straight sticks, place on greased baking sheet 1 inch apart. For a variation, curl each end in the opposite direction, and pinch underneath to be sure it doesn't open while baking. 
  4. Brush each with olive oil (or melted butter). Sprinkle each bread stick with salt (except not when adding cinnamon sugar), then other toppings you choose. 
  5. Bake in preheated 425°F oven about 15 minutes or until golden and crusty.

Jan's Baking Tip

I usually freeze part of the dough in a plastic bag, then move it to the refrigerator the night before baking. Using the freezer and fridge method, I can choose the exact amount of dough I want to bake to enjoy fresh bread sticks each day.

Jan Rood-Ojalvo has longstanding ties to Congregation M'kor Shalom and the Katz JCC, both in Cherry Hill, NJ. Jan, who lives with her husband Steve in Haddonfield, NJ, loves baking, traveling, opera, and staying in touch with her six children – and two granddaughters.