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Combine 1 1/4 cups water and cubed potatoes in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. 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 (or margarine) and salt. Heat or cool as necessary until warm (120-130°F), stirring constantly.
Combine 2 cups flour and yeast in a large bowl. 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 8x3/4-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. Repeat with remaining dough.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover breadsticks and let rise 20 minutes. Stir together egg white and 1 tablespoon 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.