Serves: Makes about 6 dozen breadsticks
- 1 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
- 1 package active dry yeast (about 2½ teaspoons)
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoon finely chopped dried rosemary
- 1¾ cup (about 2 ounces) aged Asiago cheese
- ¼ cup yellow cornmeal, plus more as needed
Procedures:A pasta machine fitted with the fettuccine cutter makes terrific breadsticks.
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl if mixing by hand, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar, and stir to blend. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
- Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment. Add 1 cup of the all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, and the olive oil, salt, and rosemary to the yeast mixture. Beat on medium speed, or by hand with a wooden spoon, until well blended and a sticky dough begins to form. Gradually beat in the cheese. Beat in as much of the remaining ½ cup of flour as needed for the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl and lose some of its stickiness.
- Exchange the paddle attachment for the dough hook and knead the dough on low to medium speed, adding flour as needed if the dough is stickly, for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Remove from the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 minute, and set aside. Or, if kneading by hand, turn the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, sprinkling the dough or the surface with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking, for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Wash out the bowl and oil the inside with a light film of olive oil. Add the dough and turn to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 to 1½ hours, until doubled in bulk.
- Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it once or twice. Using a large knife or a bench scraper, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball. Dust with additional flour, cover with a kitchen towel, and let stand while setting up the pasta machine.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Divide the cornmeal between 2 rimmed sheet pans; shake to distribute it evenly.
- When ready to shape the breadsticks, follow the manufacturer's instructions to secure the pasta machine to one edge of a countertop or large table and fit it with the fettuccine cutter.
- On a floured surface, flatten 1 ball of the dough with the heel of your hand into an oval about 5 or 6 inches long and ¼ inch thick. Dust it generously with flour and insert a narrow end into the fettuccine cutter. Turn the crank with one hand and hold your other hand under the fettuccine cutter so that the cut dough will drape over your hand as it comes out. Lay the strips without touching on a prepared sheet pan.
- Repeat with the remaining 7 balls of dough. If you run out of pans, lay the dough strips on dish towels dusted with cornmeal and transfer to cooled sheet pans as they become available.
- Bake 2 sheet pans of breadsticks at a time on 2 racks, switching the racks and turning the pans 180 degrees after 8 minutes, for 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on the pans. The breadsticks will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 weeks.