Thursday, December 13, 2007

Garlic Polenta Breadsticks

Today is brisk and cold, but we can actually see the blue sky peeking through the clouds. A perfect day to curl up together with some gingerbread tea and read books like "The Gingerbread Baby" (by Jan Brett).

Bread is baking in my bread machine, making the house smell like my mom is here. It's a good day.
Reading The Gingerbread Baby and drinking Gingebread Tea
Besides opening a door of an Advent calendar each day in December and coloring Christmas themed pages (great ones on the Jan Brett site!), I've also started reading Christmas books to them, and next week we're going to make a gingerbread house together.

Crisp, slightly chewy, salty and well seasoned. Who doesn't like a good breadstick? I got the original recipe from the blog Baking Bites, and adjusted it just a bit. I don't like to separate eggs if I don't have to, especially if the recipe doesn't use the other part of the egg, so instead of using two egg whites, I used one whole egg. Also, I didn't have garlic powder, so I omitted that and the salt, and substituted two teaspoons of garlic salt instead. They turned out wonderfully! And you've gotta love a recipe that can succeed even with extensive help from a toddler.

Painting on the egg wash
Max, executing a very thorough egg wash

These are quick to whip up -- no yeast and waiting for things to rise -- and they taste great. I could easily see these with chili, soup, or a huge dinner salad. This recipe can be easily adjusted by changing the seasonings to suit whatever you'll be serving them with (i.e. chili powder and finely chopped pickled jalapeno peppers for Mexican food, finely chopped rosemary for beef barley stew, basil and oregano for Italian inspired bean soup, etc.)
Max making breadsticks

Garlic Polenta Breadsticks

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp dried dill

1/4 tsp ground pepper, to taste

4 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1 egg, lightly beaten, for brushing

garlic salt or coarse salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, garlic powder, dill, salt and pepper. Add butter and rub in with your fingertips until mixture resembles sand and no large chunks of butter remain.
Combine milk and egg whites in a small bowl, then add to flour mixture, stirring until a dough is formed. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is a 10×12 inch rectangle and approximately 1/4-1/2 inch thick (about 1 cm). Trim rough edges. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut into 16 even strips.
Transfer strips to baking sheets, leaving room between them. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle generously with garlic salt (or regular coarse salt).
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
Allow to cool before serving. Leftovers can be wrapped and re-crisped in the oven for 5 minutes at 400F.
Makes 16 sticks.

(Full credit to Baking Bites blog)

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