Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentines, Birthdays and Breadsticks

This is our oldest daughter Erin.  February 14th is her birthday.  She truly is the best valentine we have ever received. 

In two days it will be my husband's birthday, and we will celebrate with German Chocolate Cake but last night we got together with my extended family to celebrate 6 other family birthdays this month.  My parents just returned from a cruise around Australia and New Zeland so we got a report with photos. I'm fortunate that my parents and 4 siblings and their families all live within 90 minutes of each other. 

Monthly we get together for a Sunday night dinner, all except 4 of the children who are living away. Yesterday, my sister hosted our monthly dinner and assigned me to make half of the breadsticks.  It takes a more than a few batches to feed all thirty or so family members.

Cristie shared her recipe with me, which I changed slightly  and also adapted for my high altitude.  I live at 4200 ft/above sea level.  If you are at a lower altitude, just increase your yeast to 2 teaspoons.  Higher altitude?; decrease your yeast even more.  I brushed the dough with butter and seasoned with garlic salt, freshly ground black pepper, some dried basil, and freshly grated parmesan- reggiano cheese.  They were finished with a very light dusting of paprika, kosher salt, and an egg wash before baking.  Here is my version of the breadstick recipe.


2 1/4 C. bread flour (add more until dough feels a bit sticky to touch, not dry)
1 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 C. warm water (115 to 120 degrees)
2 Tab. olive oil

Sprinkle  the yeast into the water with the sugar.  Stir and let proof.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.  After the yeast has bubbled, mix the oil and yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and knead either by hand or with a dough hook until the dough is well mixed and soft, and it begins to pull away from the sides of  the bowl if mixing by machine.  I knead in my mixer for about 5 minutes to develop the gluten.   Grease a bowl with some oil and turn the dough into it, turning over once to coat the dough and keep it from drying out.  Cover with plastic wrap and let raise for 45 minutes on the counter.  Then put the dough in the refrigerator to rest at least 8 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to make the breadsticks, take the dough out and let it sit for about 30 minutes to warm up.  Roll it onto a board or counter using only enough flour to keep it from sticking.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with your desired toppings.  You can sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or go savory with garlic salt, parmesan, and dried basil.  Cut into strips with a pizza cutter and twist and put onto a buttered baking sheet.  Brush with egg wash if desired and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and paprika.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 12- 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Everyone contributes to these family meals. We were served pasta with two sauces; lovely greens with strawberries, blueberries, and feta cheese; two different offerings of breadsticks and decadent brownie hot fudge sundaes.  Later, my husband presented all of his girls their own small box of his favorite gourmet chocolates.  He is sentimental and he spoils us with this tradition every year.  Thank you Bruce, you are our hero! 

It was a great day for food and family fun.

Happy Birthday to our favorite Valentine, from your parents.  We love you!!!


  1. what a sweet post. I love your family tradition. I wish mine were close enough to do the same. Sooo....are you going to share the details of the breadstick recipe? :)

  2. Sorry Danielle, I didn't think to post the whole recipe. Thanks for asking. I added the full recipe to the post.

  3. What a great gift to have a child born on Valentine's Day! The gift that keeps giving.

  4. I can't believe I made the blog! Thanks for the bday wish