Once you start baking your own bread loaf, you will be greedy to try all different varieties in breads. They could be different types of buns, pizza, thick or thin, sweet, salty, spicy breads – there is no limit to trying all of them and sometimes altering them as per our choice.
In India, the most popular bread form is sandwich bread and buns/pav. You can find them at every supermarket and even at a small roadside teashop. But if you are looking for some different varieties in breads, either you have to check at some classic bakery in your city or probably in a five star restaurant or hotels. But in the last few years there is a lot of change into the cooking habits of Indians. Courtesy many food channels on TV, people are experimenting a lot in their regular cooking culture and eating habits. Opening of chains like Pizza Hut, Pizza ..Corner, Dominos etc introduced complete meal based on different types of breads.
So, a new generation of young Indians, mainly teenagers, who had no interest in learning traditional cooking from their mother are now involved in cooking and baking, inspired by TV food shows, and if they don’t cook, they sure want to bake!! Now along with gas stove a small oven can be seen in Indian kitchens.
My daughter Apoorva loves to visit Pizza Hut any time. Pizza Hut used to be part of her every celebration. But when I started baking, I started baking pizza at home and that’s the only thing in which she helps me completely! Somehow it never occurred to me and even Apoorva never demanded to try Pizza Hut style bread sticks. Few days back I was thinking to try something new in breads, so decided to go for these breadsticks. But I didn’t want to do completely with all purpose flour, so added wheat flour to gave them a healthy twist!
Breadsticks came out really good with cheese on top and I prepared carrot-tomato soup to accompany them. If you want to prepare them completely with all purpose flour, you can follow the same recipe – the only difference will be that you have to reduce the amount of water/milk little bit while kneading the dough as maida absorbs less liquid compared to wheat flour.
Wheat flour 2 cups
Milk powder 1 tbsp
Maida (all purpose flour) 1/4 cup
Salt 3/4 tsp
Butter 2 tbsp
Instant active yeast 3 /4 tsp
Water 1 cup (slightly warmer than lukewarm but not hot)
Butter (melted) 2 – 3 tbsp, dry oregano, pepper, rosemary, salt and cheddar cheese for seasoning
1- All ingredients except water should be on room temperature.
2- Absorbing liquid quality of flour is different for everyone. So don’t follow blindly the quantity of water given in the recipe. If required add 1 or 2 tbsp extra or reduce.
3- For first proofing people are generally confused if the dough has doubled or not. My personal simple way to solve this problem is to select a vessel which you think is the exact fit for doubled up dough volume.
For more tips you can check my post Wheat flour buns with pizza spices (2) (basic tips to follow if following a bread /buns recipe)
Collect wheat flour, milk powder, maida, yeast, salt and sugar in a big broad vessel and mix everything.
Slowly start pouring water in the flour and start binding flour together. Don’t add entire quantity of water in the flour. Once flour comes together, it will be dry.
Now keep on adding remaining water slowly as 1 tbsp at a time and start kneading the dough. Remember, dough consistency should be little more wet and sticky than chapati dough. Kneading for the first 8-10 minutes will be a messy task, but after 10 minutes, start adding oil/butter and knead for 5-7 minutes more. Your palms and fingers will be clean now and messy dough will turn smooth.
Grease a bigger sized bowl with oil and keep the dough in it. Apply oil on top of the dough to avoid it drying and cling wrap the vessel for first proofing.
(Always take a bigger vessel to keep the dough for proofing so that there is sufficient space for the dough to become double in volume).
Keep the vessel at a warm place for proofing. I always keep it inside my microwave (switched off).
First proofing takes one to one and a half hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. During summer it gets proofed within 50 to 60 minutes, but during winter it might take longer.
While dough is proofing, grease the baking tray and keep it ready.
Once dough is double in volume, first proofing is over.
Apply little oil on clean kitchen top and take out the dough and punch it slightly.
Now you can measure and spread parchment paper according to the size of your baking pan. Slightly knead the dough and spread it evenly in your baking pan. Brush it nicely with plain melted butter.
Now cut the dough into equal size bread sticks and let them rise for second proofing.Second proofing will be over in 20 to 30 minutes.
Just 10 minutes before second proofing is done preheat oven at 180/. Mix oregano, basil, pepper, rosemary, and salt in melted butter and brush breadsticks generously with this seasoning. Spread grated cheese on them and bake breadsticks at 180/for 15 to 20 minutes or till the edges start becoming brown.
Take them out and sprinkle some more grated cheese and butter and again keep them back in the oven and bake for 5 more minutes. This extra 5 minutes will turn them into crisp from top and soft from inside.
Enjoy you pizza style healthy bread sticks !!