I have been searching for a yummy breadstick recipe for a very long time. I wanted something comparable to Olive Garden fare, but every recipe I came across required frozen bread dough, and they never turned out to be exactly what I wanted. Well, I have finally found one that meets my criteria -- soft, chewy, garlicky, delicious. This site has a bunch of terrific recipes, and this one is no exception! They recommend using it for pizza dough as well, but I wasn't terribly fond of it (I tried it a couple of weeks ago before making the breadsticks). The original recipe has you making 12 breadsticks, but they do come out very large, so unless you are serving it with soup (where you would want a nice chunk of bread to go with it), I would recommend stretching it to 16 or 18 breadsticks. Enjoy!
1 1/2 c. warm (105-115 degrees) water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 1/2 c. flour
In a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer, if you have one), combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.
Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2 c. flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (usually between 3-4 cups, depending on your elevation and your humidity) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.
Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Remove from bowl and place on a lightly-floured surface. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll into a rectangle and cut into 12 strips with a pizza cutter.
Roll out each piece of dough into a snake and then drape over your forefinger and twist the dough. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining 11 pieces of dough. Try to space them evenly, but it's okay if they're close; pulling apart hot bread is one of life's greatest pleasures!
Cover pan and allow dough to rise for another 30 minutes. When there's about 15 minutes to go, preheat your oven to 425. When done rising, bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Rub some butter on top of the breadsticks (just put a ziploc bag on your hand, grab some softened butter, and have at it) and sprinkle with garlic bread seasoning or the powdery Parmesan cheese in a can and garlic salt. Or you could sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.