Parmesan & Fennel Breadsticks

Makes 40-50 sticks



  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour

Special Equipment

  • whisk
  • plastic wrap
  • stand mixer with dough hook attachment
  • parchment paper
  • baking sheet
  • pastry scraper
  • pastry slicer/cutter
  • rolling pin


Make Sponge

  1. Whisk together 2 tsp sugar, 1¼ tsp yeast and 2 cups all-purpose flour.  Add warm water and whisk until combined. Mixture will be very wet
  2. Cover bowl and let proof in a warm area for 1½ hours or until doubled in size

Mix Dough

  1. Add dough ingredients to the sponge in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use dough hook attachment and mix for 9 minutes on medium speed, until smooth. Add 1 tbsp of water if mixture is too dry. Dough will be fairly stiff. (Without a stand mixer, the dough can be kneaded by hand on a lightly-floured surface)
  2. Place in an olive-oiled bowl and let proof until doubled in size (from 1½ - 3 hours)
  3. Punch down dough, and refrigerate overnight in a covered bowl

Roll Dough & Form Breadsticks

  1. Cut dough in half* and roll each portion into a rectangle 12" long x ¼" thick
  2. Cut into ½”-wide strips and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. (Now is the time to stretch the pieces longer, tie into knots or shape into festive presentations)
  3. Proof for 30 minutes on baking sheet to create a lighter, crispier density

Bake & Let Cool

  1. Preheat oven to 325º (or 275º for a convection oven)
  2. Bake breadsticks for 30 minutes until golden. Turn off the oven, open oven doors, and leave breadsticks to dry and cool down for about 20 minutes

Note: * Dough freezes well.  If you want to just use half of the dough, wrap other half in plastic wrap and freeze. Or you can slice into breadstick shape and freeze, When ready to use, bring to room temperature before baking.