These breadsticks make a great accompaniment to corned beef, cabbage, and beer.  They are quick to make because you don't need to let them rise.  You can make them into any shape you wish and top them with either salt or sugar.  The breadsticks pictured are topped with sugar.  If you use salt, use only a small amount.

You will need:

1.  1 Tbs. of dry yeast

2.  1 1/2 cup of warm water

3.  Thermometer (optional but helpful)

3.  1 Tbs. sugar

4.  1 tsp. salt

5.  4 c. cups flour
     You can use all white or 3 cups of white and 1 cup of wheat

6.  Butter and sugar or coarse salt

Shamrock shaped breadsticks for St. Patrick's Day
Green colored sugar 1.  Put 1/4 cup of sugar or two tablespoons of salt in a small bag.  Add a drop of green food coloring and shake the bag until the color is evenly distributed.  Add another drop of food coloring if you want a darker green.  Set the colored sugar or salt aside.
Heating up water 2.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Microwave the water for about 30 seconds and check the temperature.  It should be about 105 degrees.  If you don't have a thermometer this will be very warm but not hot to the touch.  Stir in the yeast and let it sit until the yeast is foamy, about five minutes.
Mixing up the bread dough 3.  Put the yeast and water into a mixing bowl.    Start mixing and add the sugar and the salt and three cups of flour.  If you don't have a mixer just stir everything together in a big bowl.  When this is well mixed, add the rest of the flour.  You may need to adjust the amount of flour slightly.  You want to have a ball of dough that is soft but not sticky.  There shouldn't be flour clumps on the outside of the dough and the dough shouldn't stick to the sides of the bowl.  Keep mixing the dough for about five minutes.  If you aren't using a mixer, knead the dough for five minutes.
Shape the bread dough into shamrocks 4.  Divide the dough into six parts.  You will make one shamrock with each part.  Divide each part into one small part and three evenly sized parts.  Roll the dough into ropes.  With each of the three large ropes make a heart shaped piece.  Arrange them into a shamrock shape.  Use the small part to make the stem.  Continue until all six shamrocks are complete.  Bake them for 8-12 minutes.
Top with green sugar or salt 5.  When the shamrock breadsticks come out of the oven, brush them with butter.  You can melt it or just use a knife and spread it.  Since the breadsticks are hot it will melt onto them.  Sprinkle the green sugar or salt onto the breadsticks.

According to legend, St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity to the Irish people.  The shamrock has three leaves, but is one plant.  God has three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but is one God.  The Irish often wear a shamrock on St. Patrick's Day.


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