When my mother picked me up from class the day before my celiac test results were due back, it took me about two seconds to convince her we should go to Olive Garden.  Starting tomorrow, I argued, we might never have the chance again.  Since my twin sister had already been diagnosed, and I was so sick I wasn’t strong enough to walk four blocks from class to our apartment, I was pretty damn certain I was about to go on a GF diet.  I had what I always had there:  ravioli (no sauce!), salad, and breadsticks.  I already knew I wouldn’t be happy with my food until I could recreate that meal and be satisfied with it.   It’s been a little over a year, and I’ve pretty much managed everything but the croutons.  I can make good bread, but croutons continue to elude me.  I’ll get them to behave eventually.  :-)

In any case, the first part of that meal I was able to really recreate successfully was the breadsticks.   When I made my final test batch, there were plenty of people over at my apartment, including an old friend who’d been out of the country for most of the past few years and so had mostly been out of touch.  He was obeying our “no gluten in the apartment” rule, of course, but hadn’t stopped to think through how that meant every bit of food in sight was gluten-free.  So when I handed him his share of the freshly buttered breadsticks, then came back five minutes later to ask how they were, he said, “Yeah, they’re good.”  I asked him, “So they don’t taste fake? or weird? or anything like that?  You wouldn’t think they were gluten-free?”  He blinked at me several times, then asked as it sank in, “Wait, these are gluten-free?  Really?”

That’s always how I know a recipe is done.  :-)

These breadsticks have a slightly stiffer dough than most of my breads, simply to allow you to roll and pinch them out into the right shape.  It’s still very soft, though, so make sure to dust everything generously with dough mix, including your hands!  They’re best fresh (what isn’t) but pretty good not-so-fresh, too.  Here’s the printer-friendly version:

Breadsticks

Yield:  8 long breadsticks

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup + 2 T warm water
  • 1 1/8 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/2 T sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups dough mix
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp oregano (optional, but boy does it help!)
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 T dry milk powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp oil
  • 1/2 egg (reserve other half for egg wash)
  • ALSO: 2 T butter

Directions:

  1. Combine warm water, yeast, and sugar in small bowl; whisk together to dissolve yeast and sugar, and set mixture aside to proof.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Add oil, half an egg, and yeast mixture and mix well.  (Reserve the other half of the egg for step 8.)
  4. Let rise 1-2 hours.
  5. Start oven preheating to 425, and lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  6. Lightly dust countertop and hands with dough mix, then turn dough out onto countertop. Cut dough into eight equal pieces with serrated knife.
  7. Redusting your hands as necessary, gently roll and pinch each piece of dough out into a breadstick shape. Put each breadstick on the cookie sheet as you finish it.
  8. Gently brush the tops of the breadsticks with the reserved half an egg.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes.
  10. While the breadsticks are baking, melt 2 T butter. As soon as you take them out of the oven, brush them generously with the butter. Now they’re ready to serve.

And, of course, the version with some lovely photographs to make life more entertaining:

Breadsticks

Yield:  8 long breadsticks

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup + 2 T warm water
  • 1 1/8 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/2 T sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups dough mix
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp oregano (optional, but boy does it help!)
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 T dry milk powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp oil
  • 1/2 egg (reserve other half for egg wash)
  • ALSO: 2 T butter

Directions:

1.  Combine warm water, yeast, and sugar in small bowl; whisk together to dissolve yeast and sugar, and set mixture aside to proof.
2.  In large mixing bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
3.  Add oil, half an egg, and yeast mixture and mix well.  (Reserve the other half of the egg for step 8.)
4.  Let rise 1-2 hours.
5.  Start oven preheating to 425, and lightly grease a cookie sheet.
6.  Lightly dust countertop and hands with dough mix, then turn dough out onto countertop. Cut dough into eight equal pieces with serrated knife.
7.  Redusting your hands as necessary, gently roll and pinch each piece of dough out into a breadstick shape. Put each breadstick on the cookie sheet as you finish it.
8.  Gently brush the tops of the breadsticks with the reserved half an egg.
9.  Bake for 12 minutes.
10.  While the breadsticks are baking, melt 2 T butter. As soon as you take them out of the oven, brush them generously with the butter. Now they’re ready to serve.