So, season three of Downton Abbey is over. Withdrawals for about ten million American's is now common. It will be around ten more months before season four makes its way across the pond from England. What is a Downton Abbey fan to do? Quite obviously, eat the food of the era and watch reruns!
The chances are that if you're a fan of Downton Abbey, you are also a fan of movies which featured either the Victorian or Edwardian era's in England. Usually sometime and somewhere in these films there will be scenes of a storefront bakery. During this era there were essentially bakeries on every block of every street. Though these bakeries were known for their cakes, pies and assorted sweet and savory pastries, their main goal was to supply the residents with bread. This particular bread, known as a "breadstick" due to its long and thin shape, was a favorite. In adapting this recipe for today's kitchen, we decided to add a little more flavor to these breadsticks so we top them with herbs, seasoning and/or seeds.
This is a little different than most artisan breads in so much as there is not any lengthy rising period. Once the breadsticks have been formed by hand, they only get a minor one hour rising period. This ascertains the interior of the bread will have a nice chew to it while the exterior has a delicate crunch (crust).
For a complete how-to slideshow on making Edwardian Bakery Breadsticks, just go to the free Facebook page called The Food of Downton Abbey!
Ingredients needed to make Edwardian Bakery Breadsticks (amount depends on size):
- 2 tsp. yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 Tbs. salt
- 1 1/4 cups water
- melted butter for brushing
- toppings of your choice
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet.
- In a small bowl, whisk the yeast, warm water and sugar. Set the bowl aside 10 minutes for the yeast to proof (foam).
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch and salt.
- Stir the proofed yeast and remaining water into the flour to form a dough.
- Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead 5 minutes.
- Let the dough rest 5 minutes.
- Remove portions of the dough (amount depends on how big you want your breadsticks). Roll the portions into a rectangle.
- Form the rectangles into long and thin loaves (thus the name breadsticks).
- Place the breadsticks onto the prepared baking sheet. Brush the breadsticks with the melted butter and then top with the toppings of your choice.
- Let the breadsticks rise one hour.
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the breadsticks into the oven and bake 15 minutes.
- Remove the breadsticks from the oven and cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."