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Just a couple turns of the wrist transforms ordinary breadsticks into lovely holiday fare. The key is to twist the dough no more than three times, otherwise the breadsticks will become too tightly wound and lose their subtle corkscrew shape. Gently score the rectangle of dough to measure out the strips before cutting them (a 12-inch ruler is especially helpful here). We love an “everything” mix of seeds, but you can use any combination you like. You can also substitute chopped fresh herbs, grated fresh orange rind, or freshly cracked black pepper.
How to Make It
Dissolve yeast in warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; let stand 5 minutes.
Add butter and 2 eggs to milk mixture; beat at low speed 1 minute. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1 cup flour to milk mixture; beat at low speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl with spatula as needed. Remove paddle attachment; insert dough hook. With mixer running on low speed, add remaining 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt; beat at low speed 5 minutes.
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°F), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press 2 fingers into dough. If indentation remains, it has risen enough).
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide in half. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll into a 12- x 6-inch rectangle. Cut dough into 8 (12-inch) strips. Pick up each strip at both ends, and gently twist 3 or 4 times. Place twists 1 inch apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portion. Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg white in a bowl; brush egg mixture over twists. Combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, sesame seeds, and remaining ingredients in a bowl, and sprinkle over twists. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.