Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks

 Carb free diet...not my cup of tea.  I don't think that I can imagine a carb free diet.  I can go on salads for lunch time, which still got the major share of carb, but I need some carb from grains to subside the hunger that starts crawling in my tummy around 7:00 pm every day, the dinner time.  Even when I skip rice, I do incorporate some form of grain like Quinoa, buck wheat etc. in our meals.  Grain free diet is not something that I am brought up with, so it’s true that old habits die hard :).  But I am sure that grains/breads or any form of carb will provide the needed amount of sugar and fiber for your body. 

Super bowl is the special occasion when I looked forward to make some lip smacking appetizers.  Breads served in the restaurants are the weakness of my kids.  I remember one incident when on a Friday evening we decided to dine out at an Italian restaurant.  Friday night at a popular Italian place was not the best choice for the hungry tummies, but we decided to pursue with our choice.  It took a good amount of time for us to move from the lobby to the dining tables.  Once we settled down, there came the waiter with a freshly baked basketful of breads which was the huge relief to those hungry tummies.  Within minutes, the bread disappeared.  Since the place was crowded and the orders were in line, the waiter appeared again with another basket of freshly baked breads.  We feasted on them too.  Later when the real dinner came, we were all full with the carb and we had to pack our dinner home.  Since then I literally have to move away the bread basket from the kids and hubby in order to avoid them filling up their tummy with all the carb before the dinner is served.  But one cannot simply deny those oven fresh breads.  What if we can make these cheesy garlic bread sticks at home?  It’s simply amazing to enjoy these cheesy warm garlic sticks with some Marinara sauce or a bowl of hot Creamy Tomato Carrot Soup.

3 cups - all purpose flour
1 tsp - sugar
1/2 tsp - active dry yeast
1 cup + 2 tbsp - luke warm water
1/2 tsp - salt
1/2 tsp - dry basil
1 tbsp - extra virgin olive oil

3/4 Cup - Shredded Mozerella cheese
2 tbsp - parmesean cheese
1 1/2 tbsp - melted butter
1/2 tsp or 1 big clove - freshly grated garlic
1/2 tsp - dry basil
1/2 tsp - salt 

  • Mix 1 tsp of sugar with 1 cup + 2 tbsp of warm water and add active dry yeast.  Keep it aside for 5-10 minutes to get activated and become frothy.
  • Mix flour, salt and dry basil in stand mixer's mixing bowl.  Add the activated yeast to it.  Using a hook attachment knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes and add 1 tbsp of olive oil and knead for another 30 seconds.  Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 1 hr to rise.  
  • Mean while mix the grated garlic, 1/2 tsp salt with melted butter in bowl and keep it aside.
  • Pre heat oven to 425 F and dust a baking sheet with flour.
  • Punch down the air and roll the dough on a floured surface to a 1/2 inch thick circle or rectangle to fit the baking sheet.
  • Transfer the rolled dough to the baking sheet and brush the garlic butter on top of it.  Sprinkle the mozerella cheese, parmesean and basil one after another evenly on the dough.  Sprinkle little bit of salt on the sides of the crust where there are no toppings.  Using a pizza cutter score the rolled dough into strips of desired size. 
  • Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or till the cheese starts to melt and gets golden brown. Run the pizza cutter through the previously marked cuttings to separate them and enjoy them with your favorite tomato sauce or soup.
  • The dough may not poof up dramatically as we are adding a small amount of yeast.  But the bread will be soft.
  • Increase the amount of cheese if you like the bread to be on very cheesy side.
  • Left over bread  can be refrigerated.  To use them just plop them in the microwave for few seconds or bake in the toaster oven or conventional oven at 350 F for 5 - 6 minutes.

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