Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
1¼ cups water
2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed (1⅓ cups)
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons salt
6 to 6½ cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
Desired toppings such as sesame seeds, fennel seeds, dill seeds, cumin seed, red curry powder, chili powder, and/ or crushed red peppercorns (optional)
In a small saucepan bring water and cubed potatoes to boiling. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until potato is very tender; do not drain. Mash potato in the water. Measure potato mixture. If necessary, add additional water to make 1⅔ cups total.
Return potato mixture to saucepan. Add buttermilk, sugar, butter, and salt. Heat or cool as necessary until warm (120°F to 130°F), stirring constantly.
In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Add the potato mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the side of the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough (6 to 8 minutes). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease dough. Cover; let rise in warm place until double (30 to 45 minutes).
Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Roll 1 portion to a 15x8-inch rectangle. Cut into twenty 8-inch by ¾-inch pieces. Stretch and roll each piece to form a 15-inch long breadstick. Place ¾ to 1 inch apart on lightly greased baking sheets or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover and let breadsticks rise 20 minutes. Stir together egg white and water; brush over breadsticks. If desired, sprinkle with desired toppings. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.