Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Onion Twists

Breadsticks are not a common food item in my house. I'm not sure why, but I only make them once every few months. As Bob's Red Mill so generously gave me TWO new flours to sample, I was excited to see how I could alter one of my favorite go-to recipes. This is a very basic, easy to accomplish side that will add a bit of zing to your dinner table. I took a simple breadstick recipe, added some spice to the mix, and continued on. I made a few other changes along the way, and the results were hearty, savory and had a little bit of  "kick" to them. My taste-testers felt that they had a "cornbread" taste and texture due to the whole wheat flour, but they were definitely a winner! They are great served as a snack with extra Tabasco Butter for dipping or as a side to a salad, soup, or stew.

Onion Twists
by Chris
Adapted from this recipe for Quick Soft Breadsticks

1 packet of active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup warm water
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour
2 cups Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached White Flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 Tablespoon minced (dehydrated) onion
1/2 teaspoon minced (dehydrated) garlic
6 Tablespoons Chipotle Tabasco sauce (or hot sauce of your choice), divided (or more to taste)
1/3 cup grape seed oil
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (or more, to taste)

In a large glass measuring cup combine the yeast, brown sugar, and warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes (to proof.)

While waiting for the yeast mixture to proof, combine the two flours, the two salts, and the minced onions and garlic in a separate bowl.

When yeast is ready, place mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 2 Tablespoons of Tabasco (or your hot sauce) as well. Place the dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the stand mixer bowl, then top with the grape seed oil. Using the dough hook attachment, combine all ingredients on a low speed for 3-4 minutes. The dough is ready when it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. If the dough is a bit sticky, flour your hands before removing from the mixer.

On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough until it is rather "elastic" and not "sticky." Roll out into a thin sheet, approximately 12" x 14". Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips that are about 1/2" wide. If they are long, cut into halves or thirds, to make "mini" sticks. Gently twist the sticks to your liking and place on a greased, parchment paper-lined cookie sheet (I used 3 cookie sheets). When all sticks are cut and twisted, allow to rest and rise for at least 30 minutes (no more than an hour).

As the dough rises, the twists may shift. Feel free to re-twist them to your preference. Heat oven to 375°F. Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter with 2 Tablespoons of Tabasco (or your hot sauce). Place one cookie sheet of Twists into heated oven and bake for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark brush Twists with the Tabasco- Butter sauce. Return to oven for 5 more minutes. After the last 5 minutes (15 minutes total), remove from oven and again baste with the Tabasco Butter. Remove from the cookie sheet to a wire rack to cool. Repeat as needed to cook all twists. You may also need to make more Tabasco Butter - just use a 1 to 1 ratio (1 Tablespoon of butter with 1 Tablespoon of hot sauce.)

My batch of dough made 42 Mini Onion Twists. They are great served warm with extra Tabasco Butter for dipping. They can be reheated in the microwave for a softer texture or in the oven at a low temperature for a more crispy texture. To heat them quickly, simply warm in a hot, dry skillet. Be sure to watch and flip them often so that they do not burn!

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