Soft, chewy breadsticks are the perfect vehicle for scooping up leftover marinara sauce! This recipe is easy (no mixer required!) and makes enough to share. While the dough comes together easily, if you have any doubts or questions, be sure to check out the how-to video included in the recipe card!
The Best Breadsticks Recipe
The perfect mashup of my pizza dough and garlic knots, my breadsticks are the perfect combination of soft, chewy bread and lip-smacking garlic butter. They’re so flavorful and savory, you’re going to want to serve them with every meal (I suggest starting with my baked ziti or lasagna 😉).
This breadsticks recipe is simple and approachable. You need just a few ingredients, you don’t need a mixer, and you spend only five minutes kneading. Just a bit of effort (and a little patience for the dough to rise), and you’ll have golden brown breadsticks that beat anything you’ve ever bought at the store. Or tasted at Olive Garden. Serve them au naturel, or with plenty of marinara sauce for dipping.
Let’s get to it!
What You Need
My breadsticks recipe starts out with a simple yeast dough and finishes with garlic butter for a subtle but rich flavor. Here’s what you need:
- Yeast. You can use either active dry or instant yeast. I prefer active dry, but if you want to use instant, you can do so by following the instructions for my garlic knots.
- Sugar. Sugar feeds the yeast in these breadsticks and adds flavor. Don’t worry, this small amount won’t make the bread sweet, but it will help to make it soft and tender.
- Olive oil. The main fat in our breadsticks is olive oil. This tenderizes the breadsticks and prevents them from becoming dense. In a pinch, vegetable or canola oil will work.
- Bread flour. I recommend bread flour for a chewier breadstick. You can substitute all-purpose flour instead, but just know that your breadsticks will come out softer and fluffier.
- Butter. Once the breadsticks come out of the oven, you’ll brush them with garlic butter. Use unsalted butter since we are adding salt ourselves.
- Garlic. I add just a little garlic powder to the dough of my breadsticks, and the rest goes in the butter. You can omit this if you don’t want garlic breadsticks.
- Parsley. I add parsley to my butter for freshness and a slightly herby bite. This isn’t overpowering, and it complements the garlic and parmesan nicely. You could also use basil or oregano.
- Grated parmesan cheese. Adding this on top is optional, but it gives the breadsticks an extra savory taste. I suggest adding it!
SAM’S TIP: This breadsticks recipe can be made in a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, but I find it to be easier to do by hand.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Homemade Breadsticks
- Combine water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar (this helps feed the yeast and speed up the blooming process). Let sit until yeast forms a foamy cap, about 5-10 minutes.
- Add the remaining sugar, oil, salt, garlic, and half the flour to bloomed yeast. Stir until combined, then gradually add more flour until dough is tacky and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add more flour while kneading, if needed.
- Place your dough in lightly greased bowl. Turn to coat lightly in oil, then cover the bowl and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
SAM’S TIP: If your yeast doesn’t foam, you will need to redo step 1. Always check to make sure your yeast hasn’t expired before using it, and make sure to heat your water to the proper temperature before adding the yeast.
- Gently deflate dough with your hands before turning it out to a clean, lightly floured surface.
- Evenly divide into 9 pieces (or more if you like smaller breadsticks, or fewer if you like bigger ones!). Use your hands to form each piece into a 6-7″ rope. Place breadsticks on a parchment lined baking sheet, giving them a bit of breathing room as they’re going to have to rise.
- Cover your baking sheet with either a clean towel or plastic wrap and let the breadsticks rise until increased in size about 50% (this is usually about 20 minutes in my kitchen, but if yours is cooler your time may vary!). Remove the cover and bake breadsticks in 400F oven until they’re just beginning to turn light golden brown
- Brush a mixture of melted butter, garlic powder, salt, and parsley (fresh or dried) over warm breadsticks. If you’re feeling a little crazy, sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan cheese, too.
Frequently Asked Questions
No! I actually prefer to make these by hand. However, if you do have a stand mixer feel free to use it, just use the dough hook attachment and keep in mind you will not have to knead the dough as long to reach the smooth, elastic consistency mentioned in the recipe.
Instant yeast can be substituted for active dry yeast in this breadsticks recipe. Follow the steps in my garlic knots recipe if you want to use instant yeast.
You’ll find that this is the case with most yeast dough recipes (like my sweet bread and apple cinnamon rolls!). The precise amount of flour you’ll need will depend on many things, even the weather, time of year, or how much moisture is in the air, can affect your dough. Some days you may need more flour, while others you might need less than I call for. You will need to judge how much you need based on how your breadstick dough looks and feels. I provide visual cues in the video below and lots of clues in the written recipe to guide you on this.
More Recipes You Might Like
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- ¾ cup water warmed to 105-115F 40-46C (180ml)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 ½ Tablespoons granulated sugar divided
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil plus additional for greasing bowl
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- ¼ heaping teaspoon garlic powder optional, for garlic breadsticks
- 2 ⅓ cups bread flour¹ divided (295g), plus additional as needed
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling, optional
- Combine warm water and yeast in a large bowl. Add a pinch of your granulated sugar (about 1 teaspoon) and stir. Let sit until yeast has bloomed and there is a foamy cap on top of the water (5-10 minutes).
- Once yeast has bloomed, add remaining sugar, olive oil, salt, garlic powder (if using) and approximately half of the bread flour (approximately 1 cup/125g, but you can just eyeball this). Stir until completely combined using a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Gradually add remaining flour as needed (you may not need all of the flour called for, or you may need a bit extra, go by feel following the cues that follow) until the dough clings to itself and pulls away from the sides of the bowl as you stir. The dough will be slightly tacky but not so sticky that it isn’t manageable (video above provides visual if needed)
- Transfer dough to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). If the dough is too sticky, lightly dust it with additional flour.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil and transfer dough to prepared bowl. Turn the dough to coat lightly with the oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size (about 45-60 minutes).
- Once dough has risen, gently deflate with your hands and transfer to a clean, lightly floured surface. Divide into 9 even pieces and form each into a 6-7” (15-18cm) rope.
- Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spacing ropes at least 2” (5cm) apart. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise until increased in size by 50% (about 20 minutes). While dough is rising, preheat oven to 400F (205C).
- Once breadsticks have risen, uncover and transfer to 400F (205C) oven. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until they are just beginning to turn a light golden brown. You may prepare the topping while the breadsticks are baking or immediately after they come out of the oven.
- Whisk together melted butter, salt, and garlic powder until well-combined.
- Use a pastry brush to lightly brush butter mixture over each warm breadstick. If desired, sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.
- Serve warm.