I literally craved crazy bread with all of my pregnancies and I still REALLY like the stuff. But ... it's a luxury I only allow a few times a year, so I decided it was high time I made up my own crazy bread recipe. The results were FABULOUS. Everyone agreed they were much better than Little Caesar's. We even rushed a warm breadstick down the street to an old lady friend who loves them so much. She agreed ... much better than the store stuff. I hope you like it too!
This recipe is the equivalent to two 1.5lb loaves of bread so adjust accordingly to suit your needs.
Step 1 - Make the Dough
You can cheat and buy the stuff at the store, however I am not sure the results of doing such a thing. It's best (and pretty easy anyway) to make the dough from scratch.
2c warm water
1/4c olive oil
~6c unbleached white flour
Make the dough as you normally would - I do not want to type out all the instructions, so if you are interested, please see my bread making video or my bread making tutorial. I will say that I got the yeast started by dissolving it in a pinch of sugar and some of the warm water (maybe 1/4c) and started out with 5c of flour, working my way up to a little more than 6c when the dough finally felt right. For best results, allow the dough to go through the two rising cycles before proceeding.
Preheat your oven to 375*.
Step 2 - Roll and Cut
Lightly dust your counter or other surface and the rolling pin with flour. You may need to add more flour to the counter and/or rolling pin as you work with the dough. Divide the dough in half and roll out one half till it's about 1/2" thick. You can try to roll it out 'pretty' if you want to, however it is a waste of time in my opinion ;)
Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into the length you prefer. I am not too particular so I was a little random. I forgot to take a photo of this step, but I'm sure you are smart enough to figure it out! If you do not have a pizza cutter try a sharp knife or baker scraper (left).
Step 3 - Dust and Bake
Dust your baking sheets with cornmeal. A note about baking sheets: I found that using a baking stone had better results than using my 'air-bake' metal sheet. The stone took a few minutes longer to bake but the results were more even and tender. The metal sheet did well too, but not as well as the stone :)
Arrange the strips of dough on to the sheets and bake at 375* until JUST DONE. And that is THE KEY to these bread sticks turning out so yummy!! DO NOT OVER COOK! The stone took about 10 minutes and the 'air-bake' metal sheets took about 8 minutes. You do not want them to begin browning, you only want the insides JUST DONE.
Step 4 - Prepare the Topping
While you are waiting for those to bake, get the topping ready.
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
3T olive oil
Gently heat the first four ingredients. Remove from heat. Use more or less garlic depending on your personal preference. In our opinion, this was just the right amount. Also, we prefer chunks of garlic but you may not. If this is the case for you, simply allow the garlic to steep in the warm butter and oil for several minutes and then strain out before brushing on to the bread sticks.
Step 5 - Apply the Topping
Brush the tops of the bread sticks evenly and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. I like to use a silicone basting brush simply because it's super easy to clean up.
Step 6 - Eat!
Transfer the finished sticks to a basket or bowl lined with a towel and waxed paper. The towel keeps the sticks warm while the waxed paper keeps the towel clean.
If you try this recipe you must let me know what you think. We were SO EXCITED about the results and are thankful to have these yummy bread sticks fresh and made with ingredients we can pronounce.