Whenever I’m craving either a soup or a salad for dinner, I find I’m always looking for a carb to round out my meal. Especially when making vegetarian soups like this smoky tomato and fennel soup, I need a good solid carb for creating a satisfying and filling meal. I absolutely love breadsticks and would make them in a heartbeat, but when I come home from work I’m usually starving and I don’t have the patience for dealing with yeast and waiting for the dough to rise.
The perfect solution I found was to combine my love of making biscuits with my love of breadsticks to make what I call a biscuit stick. Now that I think of it, kinda sounds like a dog treat – forget I said that. Don’t worry, it’s muy delish!
There is something really amazing about the combination of the fresh herbs with the goat cheese and kalamata olives in these biscuit sticks. The goat cheese mostly melts into the biscuit and leaves a subtle flavor and then every time you bite into the biscuit and hit a kalamata olive you get a bold burst of flavor in your mouth to wake up your tastebuds.
I used the same trick with the frozen butter that I also used in my double chocolate tarragon and currant scones recipe. Freezing the butter really does make a huge difference in the amount of flakiness your quick breads will have. What I usually do is slice the butter into pieces and lay them out on a plate. I place the plate in the freezer for at least a half an hour and then pop them into a food processor with a few teaspoons of flour and give it a whir. The texture you are aiming for is something similar to fetta cheese crumbles, mostly small chunks with a few larger ones.
Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, garlic, basil, oregano, goat cheese, and kalamata olives. The goat cheese is very soft and will want to stick together in a large clumps, I prevented this from happening by tossing and coating the pieces in flour so the wouldn’t stick to each other.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough just starts to come together.
Turn the dough onto a well floured surface and knead 3-5 times, handling as little as possible. Then use a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it’s about 3/4 of an inch thick and is roughly the shape of a rectangle. Use a pizza cutter or a knife to slice the dough into breadstick sized pieces.
Transfer the pieces onto a greased or floured baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes until they start to turn a light brown color.
When the biscuit sticks are finished, transfer them to a wire rack to allow them to cool. Enjoy with any kind of soup or salad, but they also pair very well with any kind of tomato based Italian dish.
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, frozen and grated
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
- 1 oz goat cheese, cut into small cubes
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, garlic, basil, oregano, goat cheese, and kalamata olives. When adding the goat cheese, coat each piece with flour to prevent them from sticking together.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and egg. Combine wet and dry ingredients until dough just start to come together.
- Turn onto a well floured surface, and barley knead the dough by folding it 3-5 times.
- Roll the dough out until it’s approximately ¾ inch thick, adding flour as needed.
- Cut dough into breadstick size pieces. Transfer onto a greased baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- When finished baking, transfer to a wire rack and allow them to cool.
- Grated butter can be created by freezing an entire stick of butter and then using a box grater to create coarse chunks. The easiest method I have found is to slice a stick of butter, place the pieces on a plate and then freeze for at least half an hour. Once frozen, I transfer the butter to a food processor and toss in a few teaspoons of flour and then process until the butter is about the same texture as feta cheese crumbles.