- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter - (1/2 stick)
- 1 large onion minced
- 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour more or less
- 1 package fast-rising dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 cups hot water (125 to 130 degrees)
- Coarse salt as needed
Heat heavy medium skillet over high heat. Add fennel seeds and stir until just golden brown and aromatic, about 1 minute. Transfer fennel seeds to large bowl. Reduce heat to medium. Add butter and minced onion to same skillet. Saute until onion is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt to fennel seeds in large bowl. Stir in hot water and onion mixture. Mix in enough of remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to form soft dough. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if dough is sticky, about 8 minutes.
Form dough into ball. Place on lightly floured surface. Cover with towel. Let dough stand 10 minutes.
Dust 4 cookie sheets with flour. Divide dough in half. Roll each half out on floured surface to 12-inch square. Dust well with flour. Fold each square in thirds and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Unfold strips. Let dough rest 5 minutes. Stretch each strip to 14 inches. Place strips 1/2 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Let breadsticks rest 10 minutes.
Brush breadsticks lightly with water. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Bake breadsticks until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Return breadsticks to oven and bake until crisp, about 12 minutes. Cool completely. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container.)
This recipe yields about 4 dozen.