Garlic Breadsticks

breadsticks2These breadsticks are relatively quick and simple, and I love to throw them in the oven while I cook some Italian food on the stove! In the US, I would often bake them at the same time as something else, but those who live in Japan know that our tiny oven size here mostly prevents that. This recipe was adapted from here.

Ingredients
3/4 cup (180mL) water
1/2 tbsp instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups bread flour
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
herbs and spices to top: basil, oregano, garlic powder, pepper, Parmesan cheese, etc.

Instructions

Mix all ingredients except butter and herbs. Knead dough for a few minutes, then let rest for 10 minutes.

Spread melted butter on a baking sheet. Roll out the dough to a square about the size of your baking pan (or a little smaller than your baking sheet) and cut into strips (I usually get 10 or 12, as you can see from the picture above). Twist them, and lay them down on top of the melted butter. It’s okay if they touch – they’ll pull apart after baking.

Sprinkle your herbs, spices, and cheese on top, then cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375F / 190C, or until golden brown.

Ingredients in Japan: Baking powder, baking soda, and yeast

This post is part of a series about the differences in ingredients between Japan and the U.S. When I first arrived in Japan, I had a lot of trouble at times because I wasn’t used to these differences, so hopefully this information is helpful! For the full list of posts in this series, see this page.

Baking powder, baking soda, and yeast have been pretty much the same for me as they were in America, but at first I just had a little trouble finding these common baking chemicals in Japan. I knew that they must be available, but I wasn’t sure where to look or what they would be called.

First, baking powder. This was pretty easy for me to find because in Japanese, they just use the English name: ベーキングパウダー (beikingu paudaa), and in the brand they sell around here, it’s written in English letters as well on the can. (By the way, the can stumped me at first, since I had never used any product in that kind of container before – you have to use a butter knife or the end of another utensil to pop open the lid.) When I checked a dictionary, another word for baking powder was listed, 膨らし粉 (fukurashi-ko), but I have never seen it used in recipes or on the package.

baking powderBaking soda was a little harder. In contrast to baking powder, which was clearly marked with the English and katakana word, I always find it in the store as 重曹 (juusou), though the dictionary has that word along with the English word ベーキングソーダ (beikingu souda), and I’ve seen both terms in recipes.

baking soda Finally, yeast. This is the only brand sold in my local supermarket, though they have different packaging options. I like to buy my yeast in one big package (you can see it labeled on this box as 50g x 1袋), but they also have options of several smaller packages inside the box. Here again, we have the English word ドライイースト (dorai iisuto) for dry yeast. This box is the instant type (not required to activate in warm water before using), so it’s labeled 予備発酵不要 (yobi hakkou fuyou); it’s also marked as 顆粒 (karyuu), or granule-type. And finally, it mentions: ホームベーカリーにも使えます, or “can also be used in bread machines”.

yeastOnce I figured out what these things were and where to find them (usually with the other baking or cake-decorating supplies in the supermarket), I’ve had no trouble using them exactly the same way I did in America.