Homemade bread sticks make a handy accompaniment. Serve them with cocktails or soups and salads.
Quick-rising yeast cuts the rising time of this recipe in half, so you're in and out of the kitchen quickly. The bread sticks will store several days when loosely covered, a couple weeks in an airtight container.
2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups flour
1 package quick-rise yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 to 4 tablespoons poppy or sesame seeds
Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt in large mixing bowl and mix well. Heat 1 cup water and shortening in saucepan until very warm (120 to 130 degrees). Shortening does not need to melt. Add to flour mixture.
Blend at low speed until moistened, then beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 25 minutes.
Punch down dough. Divide into 4 pieces, divide each of those into 6 pieces. Roll each piece to 8-inch rope on lightly floured surface. Place on greased baking sheets.
Combine egg white and remaining 1 tablespoon water and brush tops of bread sticks. Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Cover and let rise in warm place about 10 minutes.
Bake at 400 degrees 15 to 20 minutes until deep golden brown. Remove from baking sheets and cool. Makes 24 bread sticks.