4 Secrets to Healthy, Homemade Breadsticks (No Kneading Required!)

By: Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D.  |  EatingWell Soups Special Issue January 2016


The secret to healthy, homemade breadsticks without kneading or mixing? Whole-wheat pizza dough. Grab a pound—or two—from your local pizzeria or grocery store and you're halfway to fresh, hot bread from your oven. Here are a few tricks to make sure you get the breadsticks of your dreams.


Watch Video: Whole-Wheat Breadsticks 4 Ways


1. Find your favorite dough.

Not all pizza doughs are equal. Skip doughs made with hydrogenated oils and artificial flavors and pick a pizza dough with just a few ingredients: flour (preferably whole-wheat), oil, salt and yeast.

Related: Healthy Homemade Pizza Dough

2. Give it a rest.

Cold pizza dough directly from the fridge often resists being rolled out. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes and boom, the gluten relaxes and you can easily roll without the dough slinging back to the exact same small circle.

Related: How to Bake with Whole-Wheat Flour

3. Divide and conquer.

Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. With lightly floured hands, roll each into a 12- to 14-inch-long breadstick. The skinnier you roll the breadstick, the crispier they'll get when baked. Place the breadsticks at least 1/2 inch apart on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or coated with cooking spray. If they're any closer, they'll stick together as they expand during baking.

4. Sprinkle on toppings.

Use a combination of your favorite cheeses, herbs and spices to flavor the bread. To get your spices to stick, brush a little oil onto each breadstick and lightly press the toppings into the dough. A few of our favorite topping combinations are:

Chive & Garlic Breadsticks: Chives (3 tablespoons) + Garlic Powder (1 tablespoon)

Italian Cheese Breadsticks: Pecorino Cheese (3 tablespoons) + Italian Seasoning (1 tablespoon)

Spicy Cheese Breadsticks: Manchego Cheese (2 tablespoons) + Chili Powder (1 tablespoon)

Rosemary & Garlic Breadsticks: Dried Rosemary (2 tablespoons) + Garlic Powder (2 tablespoons)

Onion & Poppy Seed Breadsticks: Poppy Seeds (2 tablespoons) + Onion Powder (2 tablespoons)

Basil & Parmesan Breadsticks: Parmesan Cheese (3 tablespoons) + Dried Basil (1 tablespoon)

Oregano & Asiago Breadsticks: Asiago Cheese (3 tablespoons) + Dried Oregano (1 tablespoon)

Fennel & Sesame Breadsticks: Sesame Seeds (2 tablespoons) + Fennel Seeds (2 tablespoons)

5. Swap the baking sheets.

Bake on two sheets and swap them from top to bottom midway through cooking. The heat from the bottom with get the breaksticks crispy on the outside and swapping them to the top will make them soft on the inside.

Pair the breadsticks with your favorite bowl of soup or serve them in a mason jar like grissini for a fun appetizer that doubles as a centerpiece. Either way, you'll look like a baking genius.

Related: All the Healthy Soup Recipes You Need