1tspolive oil (any oil works)*for rubbing on your dough before raising
In a mixing bowl, add the warm water, sugar and yeast. Wait for the mixture to get foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add in the salt, and 2 cups of flour. Mix with the dough hook, adding in a little flour at a time until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the bowl and is slightly sticky. Let the mixer knead the dough for about 3-5 minutes until soft and smooth. If you are mixing it by hand, keep adding the flour until its slightly sticky but not sticking to the bowl too much. Knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
Roll the dough into a big ball and rub the outside with your olive oil (or whatever oil you are using). Place the oiled dough back into the mixing bowl.
Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for about 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
While the breadstick dough is raising, line a baking sheet/jelly roll pan with parchment paper, a baking mat or grease your pan. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.I use a half sheet pan that measures about 18x13 inches.*If you want to use my Garlic Basil Butter Parmesan Spread on top, you can make it while the breadsticks raise. See notes for recipe.
Once the dough has doubled in size, on a lightly floured surface separate your dough into 12 equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a long "dough snake". (about 8 to 10 inches give or take).
Take each "snake" and make it into a "V" shape. Then fold each end up and bend them over to each other to make a heart. Pinch the bottom to make the heart more pointed. (see photos above).
Place each heart breadstick on your parchment paper covered pan (or your baking mat or greased pan). Cover the breadsticks with your clean kitchen towel and let them raise again until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
When they have doubled in size, place them in your oven and let them bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown on top.
After they have baked and are taken out of the oven, brush them right away with the Garlic Basil Parmesan Butter spread or you can just use plain butter and a sprinkle of garlic powder, garlic salt, and parmesan cheese on each breadstick.Enjoy! These will store in a zip top bag and can be reheated by wrapping them in a moist paper towel and heating them in the microwave for about 15 seconds.
You will know you have added enough flour when the dough starts to pull away from the bowl but is still slightly sticky. You should be able to work with it without it covering your hands and you don't have to scrape it off. You may need to use a little bit of flour to work with it and that is ok...that is the kind of sticky you want!