You know I don't know why I haven't posted these bread sticks. They're just a staple at our house and maybe I just took them for granted. Just simple flour, water, yeast, sugar and salt. How easy is that. The other day though, I made a pan to take to a friend who just had a baby. (A beautiful baby if I may say so. I swear I could feel my milk coming in as I held him in my arms. He was so wonderful. Perfect little head, and fingers, and he smelled so good. I just wanted to suck on his neck and nuzzle right in. It's been a long time, can you tell, but my mom quickly reminded me it's not too late. Maybe I'll just be a frequent visitor at Kerry's for a while.) As we were driving in the car E kept making the yummy sound. Actually it was a full out, "MOOOOOM, those smell soooooo good! Will you please make us some too?!" and being the wonderful mother I am I said NO! Kidding. Of course I said yes. They're so easy to make, and they make everyone smile with pure delight.
So to the mixer I went. All of 5 minutes of mixing, 10 minutes of resting, and rising time just depended on the dad. He was slow this Sunday, so they were able to rise quite awhile, but that makes for good bread sticks too. A big pot of soup was simmering away, and when J did finally come home you would have thought I had made the most amazing meal in existence. He started sucking on my neck and nuzzled in.....just kidding:)
J's mom taught me this recipe when I was first married. It actually comes from a beloved sister-in-law's, granny's cookbook that J's mom gave me one of the first Christmas' I was a Clawson. I remember her telling me that learning to make simple bread sticks can calm a savage beast. Actually in my case it is four smaller beasts and one very worn out church going beast. My mother-in-law actually taught a group of Relief Society President's the importance of homemaking skills. She was dressed to the hilt in a beautiful suit, and all dolled up. She looked the part of a successful business woman, and she was. She had run a wonderful home, raised 7 kids, and created a sense of warmth and belonging in her home. Her lesson for the night was simple. We are all busy. Some of us have jobs outside of the home, some work inside the home, but learning how to be a home maker can create feelings of love and comfort for those in our homes. The simple, but meaningful smell of baking bread can make a house feel like home and a safe comfortable place to be. My mother-in-law then went on to teach this easy bread stick recipe. It's not hard, and anyone can make it. The funny thing is, if the bread sticks turn into bricks, or warm fluffy delights of goodness, the smell is still there, and sometimes that all a weary child or husband needs to feel content.
I loved this lesson I learned from J's mom. She put into words things I had felt myself growing up. It made me think of all the times I'd come home from school and my mom had made homemade bread. It was so good! We'd eat 3-4 loaves on the night she made it. Warm with lots of butter and drippy honey. You'd smell bread and know mom was there. She was always there, and always made wonderful things for us. I love you mom! There is a lesson to be learned here. We'll just call it the Parable of the Bread Stick. My little family doesn't need perfection. They just need me to make them feel loved, wanted, and comfy and the smell of a quick bread stick can do it. I don't need to slave for hours, just put a little effort into something. It means I care, and I love their stinking guts.
Try these bread sticks two different ways. Sometimes I have to make a double batch just so we can have one of each. The first is just to sprinkle garlic salt and Parmesan cheese on them. The second is to sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar. Can you see what I mean by having to make both. Can you make a choice?
1 T. yeast (I use SAF instant)
1 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
3-4 c. flour
1 cube butter
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix and knead the sugar, salt and flour until it pulls clean from the bowl. Add more flour if needed. Let dough knead for 2-4 minutes. I plunk dough out on the counter and form into a ball and then place back in the bowl that I have greased. Cover with a towel and let sit for 10 minutes. I spray the counter with Pam and drop the dough onto it. I gently pat the dough into a rectangle about the size a a large silver cookie sheet. Then I cut the dough into strips with a pizza cutter and place on a well greased cookie sheet. Melt the butter and brush onto the bread sticks. Top with garlic salt and cheese, or cinnamon sugar. Or do something else like Italian Seasoning, and cheese. Use your imagination. Let rise until puffy. I usually like to let the bread sticks fill the pan, but sometimes I'm in a hurry to get them on the table and only give them 10 mins. It will work, they just won't be extra puffy, but it will still taste good. Bake in a 375' F. oven for about 20 mins. Serve with soup, chili, lasagna, or make them ahead for a road trip. You might need a double batch for this!