Thursday, April 8, 2010


Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann
I'm doing a 52 Weeks of Baking challenge on Swap-Bot. The idea is that you bake one (or more) items per week for a year.

The goal is to try a new recipe each week; write a short review of it and any modifications made to the recipe; note any lessons learned; and take a picture of the final product.

My personal goal is to try 2-3 new recipes per week. I have so many recipes that I've clipped through the years that I've wanted to try. In this way, I am challenged to try them and document the process.

I'm thinking that I could combine all recipes, pictures, and commentary and make personalized cookbooks for my daughters. Kind of a legacy gift to them both.

This week, I made breadsticks, corn muffins, and oatmeal muffins. Two of the main lessons I learned were:

Be Resourceful – This week I continued trying to use what I had on hand. Ultimately, the goal is to clean out the cupboards and “start fresh” with a healthier way of eating. Rather than throwing out food/ingredients, I’m using up what is available.

Of course, I have to replenish the things I use often (e.g., baking powder, flour, sugar). It has been nice to have more room in the cupboards as I begin throwing away empty containers.

Be Willing to Take a Risk – I’ve had the Whole Foods for the Whole Family cookbook (where the oat muffin recipe is from) for several years now. There are many good, healthy recipes in there.

Even though Sophia and Olivia may not be totally enthusiastic about some of the new recipes I’m trying, at least I am serving them homemade, healthy food…not pre-packaged, processed food. (Okay…sometimes there’s pre-packaged food, but not as often as the made-from-scratch food.)

So, one of the recipes I made this week was for breadsticks. The breadsticks spread out quite a bit so they do need the 2” space between them otherwise they bake together which is what happened to me. However, they easily divide when they come out of the oven.

Both Sophia and Olivia loved the breadsticks – plain and right out of the oven. I tried the Parmesan butter on it. It was okay…nothing too flavorful. The girls suggested using the breadsticks with a homemade pizza dipping sauce that they like. This was an easy recipe to make, and despite the fact that there is no consistency in size or shape between the breadsticks, they were delicious!

Here's the recipe (it's from Taste of Home magazine):

Breadsticks with Parmesan Butter


2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons + ½ cup sugar (divided)
2 cups warm water, divided
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
4 ½ - 5 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
¼ - ½ teaspoon garlic powder


In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and 2 tablespoons sugar in 1 cup warm water. Add the oil, egg, salt, 2 cups flour, and remaining sugar and water. Beat until smooth (I did this by hand, though it could be done by a mixer).

Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Punch the dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; divide into 36 pieces. Shape each piece into a 6 inch rope. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 25 minutes).

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, cream the butter, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder. Serve with breadsticks.

Yield: 3 dozen breadsticks and 2/3 cup butter.

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