Potatoes and buttermilk add richness to the dough in this homemade breadstick recipe. Serve the breadsticks with soups or salads.
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 1 2/3 cups total.
Return potato mixture to saucepan. Add buttermilk, sugar, butter, and salt. Heat or cool as necessary until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees 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 3/4-inch pieces. Stretch and roll each piece to form a 15-inch long breadstick. Place 3/4 to 1 inch apart on lightly greased baking sheets or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees 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.