Olive Garden is one of our favorite restaurants to go. My boys love to eat there and if given a choice they would pick Olive Garden for our every week eating out trip. Lately I have been very disappointed with the quality of food they put in front of us as well as the service. I can understand that the service is region and restaurant specific, but lately every Olive Garden we go to (in any state), the quality is just getting so poor.
I have tried to replicate many of our favorite dishes that we eat at the restaurant and were quite happy with it. Breadsticks were something that I did not try before. When short listing the recipes for the baking marathon, I came across this recipe for Copy cat Olive Garden Breadsticks and I wanted to make them.
I made it the same night and the result was amazing. The recipe is a basic white bread recipe but made with bread flour for that extra gluten. That resulted in the awesome texture of the bread. Also, buttering the breadsticks right after they came out of the oven allowed the bread to remain very soft. I baked the breadsticks in 2 batches and the first batch was long gone before the second one came out of the oven.
I guess after making all different dishes that we eat at the restaurant at home, I can convince my kids to eat somewhere else. If you want to try out my other Olive Garden style dishes, check out these recipes –
Preparation time – 15 minutes plus about 3 hours of inactive time
Cooking time – About 12 minutes per batch
Difficulty level – easy
Recipe Adapted from - Handle The Heat
Ingredients to make Breadsticks – Makes about 12 breadsticks
For the dough –
- Bread flour – 3 ¼ - 3 ½ cups
- Instant yeast – 1 ½ tsp
- Warm water – 1 cup (plus about 2 tbsp if needed)
- Sugar - 2 tbsp
- Unsalted butter (melted) – 3 tbsp
- Salt – 1 ½ tsp
For the topping –
- Melted butter – 2 tbsp
- Salt – as needed
- Garlic powder – ½ tsp
Procedure to make Breadsticks –
To make the dough –
- Combine the bread flour and the salt in a bowl.
- I made the dough in my stand mixer. Combine the water, butter, yeast and sugar in the bowl of the mixer.
- Run the mixer in low speed with the hook attachment and then slowly add the flour. Once the flour incorporates with the liquid, turn the mixer on medium (speed 4) and then knead the dough for about 7-8 minutes. The dough should appear very soft, smooth and elastic. If needed add a bit of water or flour depending on the consistency. Begin with 3 ¼ cup of flour and then add more if needed.
- Shape the dough into a tight ball and then place it in a well oiled bowl. Let it rest in a warm, draft free place for about 1 – 1 ½ hours or until double in volume.
Shaping the dough –
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Deflate it gently and then divide it into 12 equal parts.
- Roll each piece of dough into a rough 7 inch long log. Place them on a greased or parchment lined baking tray. I used 2 trays and place about 6 logs in each of them.
- Cover with kitchen cloth and let it rise again for about an hour. The dough would appear puffy and out of shape at the end of the rise time.
Baking the Breadsticks –
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Bake the breadsticks for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. I baked them in 2 batches.
- As soon as they come out of the oven, brush each breadstick with melted butter and top with salt and garlic powder. I used garlic salt instead of garlic powder and salt. I just sprinkled the garlic salt on buttered rolls.
- The breadsticks tastes best when eaten fresh, but if you bake it ahead, make sure it is reheated before serving.