Easy Bread Sticks (or Knots) & Pizza Dough

Basic Bread Stick Recipe {same for pizza}
In a large mixing bowl combine:
2 1/4 cups warm water (not HOT)
2 TB yeast
2 TB sugar

*wait a minute for yeast to float to the top (unless you're using rapid rise or instant, then no need to wait)
4 cups + flour (this cannot be an exact amount depending how you scoop your flour (how packed it is), how humid the air is, etc.  But don't be scared.  Just keep adding until the flour is no longer super sticky.  It should pull away from the sides of your mixing bowl and when you touch it, it should be a little sticky but not really, really sticky.) If you add too much it will be tough.  So just watch it as it mixes and touch it and feel it as you go.
2 tsp salt
*optional, add a little Italian seasonings to the dough and it will taste extra authentic!

Let the dough raise for 20 or so minutes.  I usually turn on my oven to about 250 and when it is hot, I turn it off and open the oven door a little (I use a cup to prop it open and keep the oven light off).  That warm air will help the dough raise faster.

Next, roll the dough out and use a pizza cutter to cut it into bread sticks and roll them into snakes.  Then, I can either tie them into a knot or just put them on a lightly greased baking sheet.  If I am doing them as bread sticks I give them a little twist so that they look pretty when they're baked.  I also like to brush them with melted butter, garlic, and/or parmesean cheese too.  Or, if I wanted the Italian seasonings in them, but forgot when I was making the dough, I sprinkle a little of that on top.
Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 14-16 breadsticks.  This is a easy recipe to cut in half for a small family.

This recipe makes 2 pizzas (BAKE at 400 for 10-15 depending on your oven).  Sometimes I make one pizza and one as cheese bread.  Or one pizza and cinnamon rolls.  So many options with one easy recipe!

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