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Twisted Fennel and Coarse Salt Breadsticks

Photo: Jan Smith
Yield 12 servings (serving size: 1 breadstick)
These golden breadsticks are both pretty and delicious. Keep the recipe in mind throughout the season--a batch makes a fine hostess gift.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm fat-free milk (100° to 110°)
  • 3 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 12 1/3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Nutrition Information

  • calories 164
  • caloriesfromfat 22 %
  • fat 4 g
  • satfat 0.6 g
  • monofat 2.8 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 4.6 g
  • carbohydrate 27 g
  • fiber 1.5 g
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg
  • iron 1.7 mg
  • sodium 399 mg
  • calcium 58 mg

How to Make It

  1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm milk in a bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in olive oil.

  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, cornmeal, and salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (the dough will feel sticky). 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, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

  3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 24 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining portions to prevent drying), shape each portion into a 9-inch rope. Twist two ropes together; pinch ends to seal. Place on prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover dough, and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

  4. Preheat oven to 425°.

  5. Combine water and egg white in a small bowl. Combine fennel seeds and kosher salt in another bowl. Brush the breadsticks with egg white mixture, and sprinkle evenly with fennel seed mixture. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack before serving.