Twisted Parmesan Breadsticks
Simple Italian breadsticks filled and twisted with shredded Parmesan cheese for the perfect "gourmet" breadstick!
12 large breadsticks
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
3/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
Garlic salt, for sprinkling
1/3 cup melted butter, for brushing
1. Combine the warm water, yeast, and pinch of sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl (or in a bread machine pan). Stir and let rest for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
2. *Add 1 cup of the flour and stir; then add the salt and another cup of flour. Stir well, and add additional flour as needed until you can turn the dough onto a lightly-floured surface and begin kneading. Knead for about 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough back in mixing bowl (scrape out residue first if needed) and lightly oil the top of the dough. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (60-90 minutes).
3. Gently deflate dough. Turn onto a lightly-floured surface, kneading out large air bubbles if needed. Then, roll dough into a large rectangle, about 12x16 inches or even slightly larger. Be sure the bottom of the dough is lightly floured so it doesn't stick to the counter when you try to lift the breadsticks later.
4. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over one half of the rectangle lengthwise. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt. Fold dough in half lengthwise, to enclose the Parmesan cheese.
5. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut dough from top to bottom (starting at the fold) into 12 equal strips.
6. Grease a large baking sheet (13x18-inches) or two smaller baking sheets -- or, use a silicone liner (my favorite!). Pick up each strip of cheesy dough and twist several times, pulling into a breadstick about 12 inches long as you twist. If any of the cheese falls out, just roll the bread stick in it after it's twisted to pick up the cheese that fell. Place breadsticks on the baking sheet, allowing 1/4 to 1/2 inch between each breadstick.
7. Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Uncover breadsticks and brush lightly with the melted butter. Sprinkle with additional garlic salt. Bake breadsticks for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned on top and "springy" to the touch. Serve hot or warm.
*If you did the first step in a bread machine pan, then you can add 1 cup of flour, the salt (on top of the flour), and another 1 1/2 cups of flour to the bread machine pan. Start the DOUGH cycle. Toward the end of the initial kneading in the DOUGH cycle, check to see if additional flour is needed for a smooth dough that's not too sticky.
When the DOUGH cycle is complete, continue with Step 3 in the recipe.
40 minutes (or less with bread machine) + rising time (80+ minutes)
These Parmesan twisted breadsticks are so good!! They are light, fluffy, cheesy, and garlicky! I love the bits of melted Parmesan cheese inside and the salty, buttery garlic flavor.
I also love the fancy twisted presentation. These breadsticks will dress up a simple dinner nicely. When I make them, they're everyone's favorite!
I buy shredded (NOT grated) Parmesan cheese in bulk at Costco for special treats like these breadsticks. Real shredded Parmesan cheese is one of my favorite "food luxuries"!