Column and photos by Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review

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u'Your mom likes to nom.'

Pesto Breadsticks

These tasty snacks are the result of numerous experiments with pizza dough last year and I have brought them back at the request of my roommates. These breadsticks are moist and so packed full of flavor and I made them with almost no clue what I was doing. They go pretty fast when they’re hot, so you might want to consider making two batches if you want more than just a snack.

Cost: $10-13 (Remember to buy bulk whenever possible!)
Makes: 10-12 six-inch breadsticks

For the dough:
1 cup warm water (About 100 degrees, warmer than room temperature, but not hot to touch.)
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
(About one packet)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3-4 cups bread flour

For the pesto topping:
2-3 tablespoons butter/margarine, soft
1 1/2 tablespoons basil pesto

Special tools: Sharp knife/pastry cutter,
rolling pin/tall glass.

Whisk the yeast and the water together and let sit until yeast dissolves. (After a few minutes, put a pinch of sugar in the yeast. If it foams, it’s ready. If nothing happens, you’re working with dead yeast. Throw it out and try again.)

Mix in oil, salt, sugar and most of the flour, and then knead with a dough hook, spatula or by hand until you make a soft ball of dough. Try to avoid mixing with your hands if you can help it, the oils in our skin break down the elasticity of the dough after awhile.

Spray with cooking spray or drizzle lightly with olive oil to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl, cover with a plastic bag or with a wet towel and let dough sit and rise for 45 to 90 minutes. The dough should double in size.

Turn out dough and roll flat to a 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. Using a knife or pastry cutter, cut the dough into strips about inch wide.

Place the finished breadsticks on a greased baking sheet or use aluminum foil. Let the dough rest and continue to rise while you make the topping. Simply whip the pesto and butter together with a spoon. (It looks really weird, I know, but once the butter melts it turns into something delicious.) Spread the pesto and butter mixture onto each breadstick. If you want, putting mozzarella or Parmesan cheese on the breadsticks makes them extra tasty. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until the butter is melted and breadsticks are golden brown.

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u'Nommy nom nom.'

Serve hot, with marinara or the dipping sauce of your choice!

The recipe for the dough was adapted from a pizza dough recipe from Marcy Goldman’s “A Passion for Baking,” which has some of the best pizza ideas I’ve come across. Ever.