Soft Herb Breadsticks are the perfect side to almost any dish…soup, salad, pasta. If you love Olive Garden Breadsticks you’re going to love this recipe!
It’s spring in Utah, and that means one thing. Expect the weather to change every few hours. Or minutes. Today, it’s feeling like a stay inside and make soup kind of day. And what goes better with soup than a soft, warm, buttery breadstick??
ABK readers often ask if I have a copycat recipe for their favorite breadstick at Olive Garden. I haven’t been to Olive Garden for gosh, probably at least 10 years, so all I remember about the breadsticks are: 1. I liked the breadsticks and salad better than anything else on the menu. 2. They are light and fluffy and salty and buttery. 3. They were warm and I could have eaten a half dozen or so. All by myself. Oh, and one more thing. The breadsticks are free flowing. As soon as the breadsticks disappear, the basket is filled again.
I searched around online and tried a few recipes I thought might replicate the Olive Garden breadstick, but didn’t find any I loved. In fairness, like I mentioned, it’s been years since my last tasting! I finally combined a few recipes and added my own twist (no pun intended) and came up with ABK Soft Herb Breadsticks. If you’ve never made bread or rolls before, breadsticks are an easy way to start. They are very forgiving. The shape doesn’t need to be perfect, and because they are rolled out and then cut into strips to be shaped, they don’t need to all be the same.
Soft herb Breadsticks are perfect for dunking into a bowl of homemade soup, or to soak up leftover sauce on your plate. Try Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup, or this Tomato Basil Soup, or Blue Ribbon Lasagne as your main dish. Or you could be like me, and just have breadsticks 🙂
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoons yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups bread flour
- 2-3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ cup soft butter (room temperature) or Canola oil ( I use ¼ butter, ¼ oil)
- ¼ to ½ cup additional butter for inside and top of breadsticks
- garlic salt
- Dried Italian Herbs
- Place 2 cups warm water, yeast and sugar into a bowl of a stand mixer. If you don't have a stand mixer, you may use a food processor, or simply a large bowl.
- Let sit until yeast bubbles and reacts with warm water and sugar.
- Add 2 cups bread flour, 2 cups All Purpose flour, 1 tablespoon salt and ½ cup room temperature butter or Canola oil to bowl. Using paddle attachment, mix on low until blended.
- If the dough is very sticky, add ½ to 1 additional cup regular All Purpose flour to mixture.*
- Switch to the dough hook and set timer to knead for 5 minutes on lowest speed.
- When finished mixing, use a spatula and scrape down sides of bowl. The dough should be soft, but not wet and sticky. If the dough is sticky, add about ¼ cup of flour until the dough loses its shiny appearance and is no longer sticky. This should not take more than about 5-5½ cups of flour total.
- Spray the sides of the bowl with cooking spray, and lightly spray the top of the dough.
- Cover the bowl with Saran Wrap and set in a warm place for about 1 hour.
- When ready to roll out, Generously flour surface (countertop or pastry mat).
- Roll dough into a rectangle, about the size of a jelly roll pan.
- Brush with butter, if desired.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into strips. I have cut mine a variety of sizes, experiment to see which size you like. Or you can just roll pieces between your hands into 8 inch sticks.
- After the dough has been cut, fold the dough into half, so it overlaps onto itself (see photo).
- Take the folded breadstick and gently twist ends in opposite directions.
- Lay on greased cookie sheet.
- Let rise again for about 45 minutes in a warm place.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden.
- Remove and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Italian herbs and a bit of garlic salt.
- Serve immediately.
The bread flour adds a more dense and chewy type texture, I like it combined with regular or all purpose flour, but you may use all bread flour (you will likely only need about 4 cups of flour total) or you may use All purpose flour exclusively.
If you would like to just make breadstick that look more like the Olive Garden breadstick, Roll the dough into pieces and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
I usually purchase SAF yeast, but any brand will work. Make sure your yeast is not outdated!
*Be careful to not add too much flour to the dough over the amount called for in recipe. The amount of flour you need to add will vary greatly depending on your climate, altitude, if you use bread flour or all purpose flour. Remember, less is more when making rolls or bread. It is easy to add more flour, but difficult to work with dough that has had too much flour added!