Pizza Breadsticks

There was a recent New York Times article and recipe about gluten free dining (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/25/dining/25glut.html?em&ex=1185768000&en=e96b9c37a7076f4d&ei=5087%0A) and about the breadstick recipe that Mr. Pace uses in his restaurant (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/25/dining/251grex.html). The restaurant is 3,000 miles from San Francisco, and I wish we had it here. But I wasn't really sure what to expect from the breadstick recipe because it looked like there was something lost in translation, and that was pretty much confirmed by one of the people that reads and posts on the ICORS celiac list server. The New York Times recipe did not reproduce the breadstick experience at the restaurant.

Rather than try to modify the New York Times recipe, I checked the internet for "gluten free bread stick recipe" and "gluten free breadstick recipe." The search results are a bit different between the two. There are a number of recipes, and they look both credible and very much different that the one in the New York Times. I liked the looks of Sandra Leonard's (http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/egg/egg0496/bdstick.html). In fact, I want to try her pretzel roll recipe because it is boiled like a bagel.

Ms. Leonard's recipes date from 1996, so I wondered if they could be modernized a bit. We now have access to a large number of bread flours that are more interesting and more healthful than rice flour. I am not a fan of rice flour because unless there is a large amount of fat in the recipe, the resultant product gets hard quickly (just like rice in the refrigerator) and leaves the diner with a dry-mouth feeling. I recognize there are people that both like rice flour and need to eat rice flour.

The recipe below makes use of the gluten-free, high-protein bread flour mix in http://home.comcast.net/~vhdolcourt/bread/Experiment-7.html. However, you can use any flour mix of your choice. You could also follow Ms. Leonard's lead and use a 2:1 mix of rice flour and your favorite GF flour.

This recipe is an adaptation of Ms. Leonard's and uses both non-fat dry milk and parmesan cheese. If you are lactose-intolerant, you might exchange the milk powder for potato flakes. Parmesan cheese should be OK for lactose intolerant people because the lactose is not present in cheese aged 90 days or more. But the breadstick can be made dairy free. Makes 18 toothsome breadsticks.

Amount - gm Amount - oz weight Amount - cup and spoon Ingredient
10 0.3 1 teaspoon Tomato Powder. Tomato powder is an amazing substance. Here is an easy and refrigerator-stable way to get tomato paste in any amount you need without opening a can. Buy from The Spice Barn, 499 Village Park Drive, Powell, Ohio, 43065, sales@spicebarn.com. 866-670-9040. Alternatively, you could use 2 - 4 teaspoons of tomato paste and reduce the water a bit.
660 12.6 3 cups Your favorite gluten free flour (see above)
7 0.25 2-1/4 teaspoons Instant yeast
13 0.45 1 Tablespoon Sugar
7 0.25 2 teaspoons Xanthan gum
11 0.4 3 Tablespoons Instant non-fat dry milk powder
16 0.55 1 Tablespoon Grated parmesan cheese (refrigerated from dairy case)
4 0.10 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Salt
    1-2 Pinches Herbs de provence (or you also add about 1 teaspoon of garlic powder)
1 to 1-1/4 cups Water - 110° F
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Cider or wine vinegar
    1 Egg

You can let your imagination run wild. After the proofing and before the baking, you can coat the breadsticks with an egg wash (gently mix 1 egg yolk, or egg white, or both, with 1 Tablespoon water) and then sprinkle with more cheese, salt, etc. Or you can leave out the herbs de provence, cheese, tomato and garlic and make a sweet breadstick with more sugar and cinnamon. Or you could make a poppyseed pretzel. Alternatively, you could substitute some of the white flour for buckwheat flour and add crushed caraway seeds for a pumpernickel pretzel stick.

A fun presentation is to serve the breadsticks alongside a dish of gently warmed pizza sauce and a second dish of grated parmesan cheese. Dip the breadstick first in the sauce and then in the cheese.