Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
Yield
12 servings (serving size: 2 breadsticks)

How to Make It

Step 1

Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

Step 2

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 3/4 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Step 3

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press 2 fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

Step 4

Punch dough down. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle.

Step 5

Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg white, stirring with a whisk; brush evenly over dough. Sprinkle dough with cheese and pepper. Lightly coat dough with cooking spray; cover with plastic wrap. Gently press toppings into dough; remove plastic wrap.

Step 6

Sprinkle each of 2 baking sheets with 1 teaspoon cornmeal. Cut dough in half lengthwise to form 2 (12 x 4-inch) rectangles. Cut each of the rectangles crosswise into 12 (1-inch) strips.

Step 7

Working with 1 strip at a time (cover remaining strips to prevent drying), gently roll each strip into a log. Holding ends of log between forefinger and thumb of each hand, gently pull log into a 14-inch rope, slightly shaking it up and down while pulling. (You can also roll each strip into a 14-inch rope on a lightly floured surface.) Place the rope on a prepared pan, curving into a series of shapes so that the rope fits on pan.

Step 8

Repeat procedure with remaining strips, placing 12 on each pan. Lightly coat ropes with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 20 minutes or until doubled in size.

Step 9

Preheat oven to 450°.

Step 10

Uncover dough; bake at 450° for 6 minutes with 1 pan on bottom rack and 1 pan on second rack from top. Rotate pans; bake an additional 6 minutes or until golden brown. Remove breadsticks from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

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