Test Drive: Candle Cafe’s Sage Breadsticks  »

When it comes to fresh-baked bread goods, I’m in a bit of a rut. As in, I’m good at making one thing (quick-and-dirty drop biscuits) a few different ways (with or without Daiya cheese). I eat them, I like them, other people eat and like them, so in general it’s a win-win situation. Sometimes there’s gravy, and it’s a party. Now, since it’s the “HOLIDAYS” and everyone is putting their fancy fat pants on, I decided to (attempt to) step up my game and throw down not just biscuits, but motherfuckin’ breadsticks. WATCH OUT, I’m about to go Fazoli’s all over your ass.

Luckily, Girlie Girl Army posted a shitload of recipes, one being the sage breadsticks from Candle Café. No, I haven’t been to either Candle establishment, but I’m vegan/fat enough to know that their food is IT (and better than Fazoli’s duh), and that any possibility of recreating it in my own kitchen is simultaneously ridiculous/necessary.

The Challenge: Candle Cafe’s Sage Breadsticks

Makes 40 breadsticks

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons minced fresh sage
About 2-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water for 10 minutes. Stir in salt, garlic, and sage. Add flour slowly. Turn out onto well-floured board and knead 20 minutes or until smooth and satiny.

2. Spray bowl with vegetable cooking spray and place dough in it. Cover and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch down.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured board, roll dough out to a 12-inch square. Sprinkle dough lightly with additional flour. Divide dough into four equal pieces, and cut each piece into 10 strips. Stretch each strip out to 12 or 15-inches long, and place on greased cookie sheet 1/2-inch apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

The result: So-so. This was only my second try at yeasted bread (a phrase I do not enjoy), so maybe I’m just fucking up some crucial step. There’s some rule about how warm the water should be when you add the yeast, and magic bubbles or something, but I’ve already forgotten and don’t remember any miraculous happenings when I added mine. Maybe that’s the problem. The dough did rise (after my roommate spent a dedicated 17 minutes kneading the shit out of it), but probably not as much as it should have. The result was maybe only 20 smaller breadsticks—not the 40 promised. The sage and garlic, however, were fantastic additions and made for crazy-aromatic breadsticks (sage smells like rich people’s homes), and they were tasty fresh out of the oven. Full disclosure: I was also a little daytime drunk on mimosas. Also could’ve affected the outcome. Whatever. Whole-wheat flour seems a little dense for indulgent holiday bread, and once cold they weren’t quite as good. However, a quick warm in the oven/microwave/your mouth works wonders, and someone not so inept with baking bread could rock the shit out of these. To be safe, I’m bringing in biscuits as backup and/or getting everyone hammered so the quality of food becomes irrelevant. Am I right, ladies/gentlemen?

Thanks to Abby of It’sFaturday for this hilarious post. She is the absolute best!

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