The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Thelaridarsarm's picture


Hey, anyone else a huge fan of the olive garden breadsticks! Those are amazing, anyone know how to make them or similar kinds? My family would just go crazy if I made them some.


LindyD's picture

I did a quick search and found an Olive Garden recipe online.  You can find it here


mrfrost's picture

Looks so simple. Maybe even magical... no leavining. Cruncy breadstick?

Wonder if it works? Doubt it. Or maybe I'm missing something here?

bob13's picture



    I tried this recipe for Olive Garden style bread sticks last night and the taste was great, BUT, when I put them into the oven and baked them, they "spread" alittle more than I would have liked.  They flatten out some and grew in width.  Not nice and round like when they went into the overn.  Any suggestions as to why, if I put in a little more flour would it help?  If my calculations are any where near correct the dough was of 25% hydration, or does that not count with this type of dough?  Thanks for any and all ideas.

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm
  • water (105 to 115 degrees F)
  • 16 ounces bread flour (3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • On top:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
dwcoleman's picture

25% hydration is not correct, it's about 68.5% by my calculation which explains the spreading problem.

Lower the water a little bit if you want firmer breadsticks, aim for about 60% hydration.



bob13's picture

  Thanks DW, I am getting closer to understanding the chemistry of baking, as all newbes must.  I understand formula is grams h2o/grams flour=hydration.  Is this correct?  Also, water=227 gper cup and flour is 130g/cup?  Therefore in my recipe  (3 c x 130) x 60% = 234 g H2o?  Or a little more than a cup.  Is this correct?

I appreciate your patients with us new folks.




dwcoleman's picture

Three great things to learn:

a) measure everything by weight(most use grams)

b) buy a scale, it can be cheap, great features are digital, zero out, and 0.5g or finer measurement

c) learn bakers math

Also, 250ml of water is about 250g.  Flour weight can vary when measuring in a cup.  The volume can change when it's sifted, thats why bakers measure by weight not volume.

flour weight X   =   100%

307g(250g water + 57g butter) = 60%

307*100/60 = 512g flour

So 512g flour + your liquids would yield a hydration of 60%.  The yeast and salt are expressed as a percentage of the flour weight as well, but don't play a role in the hydration level.

Lastly, here is a great recipe to pair with the olive garden style bread sticks.

Recipes - Olive Gardens Tuscan Garlic Chicken 
Serves 6

6 boneless chicken breasts 
1.5c + 1 tbsp flour 
5 tbsp olive oil 
1 tbsp salt 
2 tsp italian herb seasoning 
2 tsp pepper 
1.5c heavy cream 
1 tbsp roasted garlic, chopped 
.5c white wine 
1 red pepper julienne cut 
.5 lb spinach stemmed 
1c parmesan grated 
1 lb fettucine

Heat oven to 350C

Mix flour, salt, pepper and italian seasoning in shallow dish.  Dredge chicken in mix, shake off excess.

Heat 3 tbsp oil and cook chicken two at a time until golden brown.

Place cooked chicken in baking sheet in oven cook 10 to 15.

Cook pasta to directions set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp oil, add garlic and red pepper cook for 1 minute.  Stir in 1 tbsp flour, wine, spinach and cream bring to a boil sauce is done when spinach wilts.  Stir in parmesan.

Coat pasta with sauce and top with chicken.



pmccool's picture

Water, not fats, not liquids, is the basis for hydration calculations.  Butter, as sold in the U.S., typically is about 15% water, the rest being mostly butterfat.  Milk is mostly, but not entirely, water.  Honey and syrups contain some water but often much less than we might expect.  Vegetable oil contains no water at all.  Every one of these ingredients will affect the characteristics of the raw dough and the finished bread.  If you want to factor their water contribution into your hydration calculations, be sure to look up their water contents first.


aytab's picture

There is also a recipe for them at in one of the blog entries. That is really good.