Saturday, October 1, 2011

Buttered Garlic and Basil Sticks

These breadsticks are wonderful for a tea-time snack, for breakfast and a light lunch. It is really tasty. I ate these plain with a cup of Earl Grey. When eaten freshly baked, the crust is crispy and the insides are soft and chewy. 

I did not sprinkle any coarse salt over the bread before baking, as the butter I'm using is already salted.

Some finely minced garlic are stir-fried in a little butter until golden and fragrant, then more butter and shredded basil leaves and black pepper are added in until the butter has completely melted. This fragrant butter-basil mixture is then brushed over the hot bread.

I really enjoyed this with a cup of tea. We had some leftovers the next day, which I heated it up in the oven for a couple of minutes to soften it again, and had these with some soup. Good!

There's one request from my son, "Please add more basil leaves the next time"! Yup, this will definitely be back by popular demand!

I had some extra fragrant basil-butter left which I spread on some white regular bread and toasted them till cripsy, cut into strips which we dip in soup the next day together with the leftover breadsticks, yum! Would be delicious dipped in soft boiled eggs too! This makes a wonderful after school meal, which the kids enjoy.

You can choose either to make this by hand or by using the breadmaker. I did the easy way, I use the breadmaker to do the kneading. Just follow the instructions below.

Buttered Garlic and Basil Sticks
(adapted from "The Bread Book" by Sara Lewis)
400gm (13oz, 3-1/2 cups) strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1-1/4 teaspoon fast-action dried yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
200ml (7fl oz, scant 1 cup) water
coarse sea salt

To Finish :
100gm (3-1/2oz, 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh basil

To make by hand 
  1. Put the flour into a large bowl then stir in the salt, sugar and yeast. Add the olive oil then gradually mix in enough warm water to make a soft dough.
  2. Knead well on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, knead well then cut in half. Roll each half out to a thin oval about 35x18cm (14x7inches). Transfer to 2 greased baking sheets and cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) strips, making cuts a little in from the edge of the dough so that strips are still held together at the ends within the oval shape.
  4. Sprinkle the dough with a little coarse salt. Cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until the bread has risen around the edges.
  5. Remove the clingfilm and bake in a preheated oven, 220C (425F), Gas Mark 7, for 8-10 minutes until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped with the fingertips. Transfer to 2 large plates.
  6. Melt a small piece of butter in a saucepan and add the garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes until just beginning to brown. Add the remaining butter, basil leaves torn into pieces and black pepper to taste. When the butter has melted, brush this over the hot bread, separate into sticks and serve immediately.

To make with a breadmaker
  1. Lift the tin out of the bread machine, fit the kneader blade then add the measured cold water and oil. Spoon in the flour then add the salt and sugar. Make a slight dip in the center of the flour and sprinkle in the yeast.
  2. Insert the tin into the bread machine. Shut the lid and set to dough or basic dough. Press Start.
  3. At the end of the programme, lift the tin out of the machine, tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface and continue as step 3, above.
Makes about 20 sticks

Tip : To make these breadsticks in advance, brush the hot breads thinly with a little of the butter mixture, then leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Warm them when needed and brush with the remaining warmed butter when ready to serve.


  1. These bread sticks look absolutely fantastic!

  2. What a wonderful bread, did not know this recipe
    I thought it fantastic!
    kisses and good weekend:)

  3. These must be delicious. I know that my kids would love them. Blessings, Catherine

  4. I love bread sticks, but I'd have to have mine with a glass of wine! Looks delicious!

  5. They look so tempting! Would be great with a bowl of warm soup!

  6. oohh yum you make me wanna make bread tomorrow!

  7. These look great and I love the way that you make them so they end up looking like actual sticks. The basil on top is a great way to finish these off!

  8. this is also something i like!**sniff** so aromatic!!

  9. looks so good...yeah with a cup of tea or coffee would be lovely!

  10. Oooo my dear friend
    This delicious bred, smell beautiful until here!!!
    I love garlic!
    Many greetings

  11. They look incredibly good! Especially with the garlic butter over top - perfect for dunking in soup or eating with a dish of spaghetti!

  12. These breadsticks look divine! I am all about buttery, garlicky bread! Mmmm : )

  13. Wow breadstick looks super prefect and flavourful..

  14. a scrumptious bread you have there ....I love garlic and butter

  15. Beautifully baked bread! Yum!

  16. They look delicious! I love the look and I can just smell that savory goodness with the butter and basil! YUM!

  17. WOW! This is awesome!! Thumbs UP!!!

  18. This looks utterly butterly delcious :)

  19. º° ✿
    ♥ °
    Estou fazendo uma visitinha.
    Seu blog é tudo de bom.
    Boa semana!
    Brasilº° ✿
    ✿♥ °


  20. These bread sticks look great. I can imagine them making a great addition to Sunday night dinner with a bowl of soup - yum.
    Sue xo

  21. These look amazing! My mouth is watering, I may have to make these soon!

  22. Mmm...this looks delicious! Basil-butter toast dipped in half-boiled egg, yum!!

  23. What beautiful bread garlic and basil :)

  24. Oh wow! This looks amazing!

    Here is my contribution for Cookbook Sundays:

  25. Joy, Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe with Cookbook Sunday @ Moms Sunday Cafe. Hope to see you again in November!