Soft Bread Machine Garlic Breadsticks: Look Like a Bread Boss

Sneak Preview: These soft bread machine garlic breadsticks (brushed with garlic and herb butter) are easy to mix and knead with a bread machine. They will remind you of those addictive restaurant breadsticks with a “twist.”

garlic bread machine breadsticks in a basket with dipping oil on the side.Pin

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How does the Olive Garden restaurant know my weakness for warm, soft, and garlicky bread? Also, they keep offering bread basket refills at no extra charge. It’s a conspiracy, I tell ya.

Now, I can make them with my bread maker(paid link) and this simple recipe. No, this is not their authentic recipe.

From my experience working in Research and Development for a nationwide pizza chain, I know large companies use products and formulations unavailable to the public. These secrets make it impossible to imitate their product exactly. Even if we knew the recipe, the flour and seasonings are likely unavailable to home bakers.

Five Reasons Why You Will Celebrate This Recipe

  1. These breadsticks are soft on the inside with a tender crust.
  2. They are easy to shape. Twisting camouflages any imperfections.
  3. Mix and knead the dough using the DOUGH cycle on a bread machine. Shape by hand and bake the breadsticks in a conventional oven.
  4. No bread machine? No worries. See the recipe notes for directions for mixing this bread with a stand mixer or by hand.
  5. Don’t miss the cinnamon-sugar variation at the end. Kids love them

Happy Bakers Speak Up

“I followed the recipe exactly as written. These turned out amazing! They were so soft on the inside. –KRISTINA

Ingredients and Substitutions

ingredients needed for breadsticksPin
  • WATER: Tap water is sufficient. Use spring water if you think your tap water is problematic.
  • NONFAT DRIED MILK: I hope you keep this in your fridge or pantry. Use fresh milk instead of water if you don’t have it.
  • OIL: Since these rolls are flavored with garlic and Italian seasoning, olive oil is a perfect choice. Swap vegetable oil for olive oil if you don’t have it.
  • SALT: I tested the recipe with table or sea salt. If using Kosher salt, add a quarter teaspoon extra.
  • SUGAR: The recipe was formulated with granulated sugar. I haven’t tried any substitutions such as honey or other sweeteners.
  • FLOUR: All-purpose flour is my favorite for breadsticks because I like my breadsticks to be soft inside. You could substitute bread flour for a more sturdy interior. Either way, the sticks will be chewy on the outside.
  • YEAST: I recommend instant yeast anytime you pull out the bread machine. It’s more convenient and doesn’t need to be dissolved.
  • GARLIC: Fresh garlic equals fresher flavor. Substitute bottled garlic if that’s what you have.
  • ITALIAN SEASONING: This mixture of Italian herbs includes basil and oregano, among other spices. Make it yourself and customize it to your taste. I use salt-free garlic and herb seasoning if I don’t have fresh garlic. Or skip the Italian seasoning altogether if you like.

How To Make Breadstick Dough with a Bread Machine

all ingredients for the dough are added to the bread maker pan.Pin
Dump all of the ingredients into the pan of the bread machine in the order listed: Liquids or wet ingredients, the oil, then the dry ingredients: the salt, sugar, and flour (please weigh the flour, if possible), and last, the yeast. Although nothing should be icy cold, the liquids don’t need to be warmed.

Select the DOUGH setting and press START. Don’t use the basic bread cycle because you won’t bake the breadsticks in the machine.

The dough should look clumpy within the first minute of mixing.Pin
During the first minute of kneading, open the lid and check to ensure the paddle(s) is engaged, and the dough is starting to clump.

If the dough looks like pancake batter, add flour until the dough clumps. If the dough looks dry, like raw oatmeal, add liquid slowly until the dough starts to come together.

When the dough is almost finished kneading, it should be smooth and elastic like this.Pin
After the bread kneads for about 15 minutes, open the lid and take a peek.

This is the most important thing you can do when using a bread machine. The dough should stick to the sides, then pull away cleanly. If it clings to the wall of the pan, add flour one tablespoon at a time, giving time between each addition for the dough to absorb the flour. If the dough is dry and bouncy or rides on top of the kneading paddle, add liquid one tablespoon at a time, allowing time for the liquid to absorb.

Note: This dough starts out pretty soft and sticky, so don’t be too quick to add flour at the beginning of the DOUGH cycle. It may not be the same for you, but I rarely need to add flour or water to this recipe.

The dough should double in size during the DOUGH cycle.Pin
By the end of the DOUGH cycle, the dough should double in size. If it is not doubled, leave it in the pan until it does. If your kitchen is cold, consider moving the dough to a warmer location.

How To Shape Dough for Garlic Breadsticks

pulling the dough out of the bread machine pan.Pin
Pull the dough from the bread maker pan onto a lightly floured surface. You may not need any flour.
shaping the dough into a ball.Pin
Lightly knead and shape the dough into a smooth ball.
the dough is divided in half and shaped into small rectangles.Pin
Divide the dough in half and use a rolling pin or your hands to press each circle into a rectangle approximately 7 x 9 inches, depending on the size and shape of the breadstick you prefer.
cutting the bread sticks with a pizze cutter.Pin
Use a pizza cutter, bench scraper, or knife to cut strips. I cut eight strips here, but six are good, too.
twisting the sticks.Pin
If desired, twist the strips. Twisting hides a multitude of sins. You might find it easier to twist the strips after placing them on a greased cookie sheet, a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat. Experiment. Leave them untwisted if you’re in a hurry.

📌 Bread Bakers Tip📌 You don’t have to twist the dough sticks if that seems too complicated. In my experience, they are just as tasty untwisted but not as photogenic. It’s challenging to keep the untwisted ones even and straight without the benefit of a commercial cutter.

breadsticks  on the cookie sheet.Pin
Cover them with a tea towel and let them rest until they are puffy.

Preheat your conventional oven to 500˚F (260˚C) or as high as it will go. A preheated oven is crucial to getting a good bake with this bread.

brushing the bread sticks with buttery glaze.Pin
When the breadsticks are puffy, brush each breadstick with seasoned butter. Or skip the seasoning and use unflavored, melted butter.
baked bread sticks in a basket.Pin
Roll the oven temperature back to 475˚F (240˚C) and bake for 10-11 minutes.

I used to bake these at a lower temperature. However, the breadsticks got too hard before they browned. This way, they come out of the oven soft on the inside with a thin and nicely browned crust.

This may be overkill, but I like to butter my breadsticks again when they come out of the oven and lightly sprinkle them with Kosher salt.

Cinnamon-Sugar Version

Want to thrill your kids, grandkids, or neighbors? Share these cinnamon-sugar breadsticks. They are so addictive!

You can only do this if you haven’t used the garlic-herb glaze before you baked the breadsticks.

baked bread stick on a plate with cinnamon and sugar.Pin
Step 1: Brush raw breadsticks with butter before baking them. When they come out of the oven, brush them with butter again.
rolling bread stick in cinnamon and sugar on the plate.Pin
Step 2: Sprinkle a mixture of equal parts cinnamon and sugar onto a flat plate. Roll freshly buttered breadsticks in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and eat immediately.

Another way to make cinnamon-sugar bread sticks: Use leftover breadsticks. Coat them with butter, then a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Put them in your air fryer (390˚F) until the crust gets a little crispy. It doesn’t take long. When you serve these, everybody will follow you around, begging for more.

FAQs for Garlic and Butter Breadsticks Like Those at Olive Garden

How can I get the breadsticks to stay twisted?

After twisting the dough strips, cover them with a tea towel. Walk away for about 10-20 minutes. This downtime will allow the dough to relax and hold the twist better. If any strips unravel, re-twist and press down on them slightly.

What is the best way to store this bread?

Keeping homemade bread fresh is always challenging since we don’t add preservatives. That’s one reason we all love homemade bread. I try not to make much more than we can eat in one sitting.

If there are leftovers, I recommend you store them in a sealed plastic bag. You can freeze them, double-wrapped, for no longer than a few weeks.

Does garlic affect the yeast?

Not in this recipe. You’ll only find garlic in the glaze, not the dough.

Can I bake breadsticks in my bread maker?

No. You can try baking the dough as a loaf, but I don’t recommend it. The crust would most likely be like cardboard, especially on the sides and bottom of the loaf.

Is the dough for these breadsticks the same as pizza dough or pretzels?

They are very close. This recipe would make good pizza dough (although this is my favorite pizza dough recipe) or pretzels. If you decide to make pretzels, dip the shaped dough into a baking soda and salt water solution to achieve the dark brown shiny surface and unique flavor of pretzels.

How long will these breadsticks stay fresh?

They are best eaten the day you make them, like donuts or pretzels. If you want to make the dough the day before, store it in a large covered container after the DOUGH cycle ends. The next day, let the dough sit on the counter to warm up. Then, shape the dough and let it get puffy before you bake the bread stick as directed in the recipe.

What can I sprinkle on top of these breadsticks?

Instead of the Italian seasoning, we like fresh Parmesan cheese, fresh chopped rosemary, dried minced onion, garlic powder, or everything-but-the-bagel seasoning. Or go off-road and sprinkle them with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

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Parting Thoughts: If these breadsticks are too fussy for you, I recommend this extremely popular recipe for Crusty French Bread (Mixed in a Bread Machine). After baking the loaf, slice it down the middle the long way and use the garlic butter mixture to cover the inside cut edges. Toast under the broiler while you watch.

If you’re a beginning bread machine baker, start here: How To Use a Bread Machine: The Most Important Tip (+Video). No matter how you use your machine, it’s important to master this technique to increase your chances of success.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

garlic breadsticks on a serving platterPin
Yield: 16 breadsticks

Soft Bread Machine Garlic Breadsticks Recipe

This bread machine recipe for yeasted garlic breadsticks tastes similar to the ones at Olive Garden.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 44 votes


Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 11 minutes
Mix and Rise Time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 51 minutes



  • 1 cup (227 g) water
  • 3 tablespoon instant nonfat dry milk
  • 4 tablespoons (52 g) olive oil
  • teaspoon table or sea salt
  • tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose unbleached flour
  • teaspoons instant yeast

Buttery Garlic Glaze:

  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

Alternate Egg Glaze:

  • 1 large (50 g) egg
  • 2 tablespoons (26 g) olive oil


Making the Dough:

  • Place 1 cup (227 g) water, 3 tablespoon instant nonfat dry milk, 4 tablespoons (52 g) olive oil, 1½ teaspoon table or sea salt, 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar, 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose unbleached flour, and 1½ teaspoons instant yeast into the bread machine pan.
  • Select the DOUGH cycle, then START.
  • During the first minute, lift the lid and take a peek. Check to see if the paddles are correctly engaged. The dough should start to clump immediately.
    Recheck the consistency of the dough 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle.
    If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time. The dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.
    Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add 1+ tablespoons of water until the dough looks just right. Learn more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.

Shaping the dough:

  • When the DOUGH cycle completes and the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bread machine pan onto your work surface. Use as little flour as possible, or none at all.
  • Divide the dough in half and shape it into two balls. Roll out each ball into a 7 x 9-inch rectangle. Let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Use a pizza cutter, bench scraper, or large sharp knife to cut each rectangle into 8 strips. Place each strip on a greased baking pan or one covered with baking paper or a silicone mat.
  • Optional: After placing all the strips on a cookie sheet, twist each strip to disguise imperfections.
  • Cover the strips with a tea towel. Let them rise until puffy and almost double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 500˚F (260˚C).
  • Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the glaze of your choice. When the breadsticks are ready to bake, brush them with the glaze. Sprinkle with Kosher or sea salt.
  • Turn the oven back to 475˚F (241˚C) and bake for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown. You may need to rotate the tray halfway through for more even browning. Watch your rolls carefully. At this high temperature, they can easily overbake if your oven is not calibrated correctly.
  • Brush the breadsticks with butter immediately after the breadsticks come out of the oven. Serve warm.


Kitchen tip for twisted rolls: Try not to twist the dough too many times or too tightly when shaping the breadsticks. Only 2-3 twists at the most, are needed. Also, if the dough is too thick, it will most certainly unravel while rising. Sometimes, when they are stubborn, I press down on the whole twist with the palm of my hand to “imprint” the shape.
If all else fails, walk away and let the dough relax for a few minutes. It will behave better when you return.
Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer:  Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until the dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate the dough gently and shape it as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape it as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than is called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can still do it.


Serving: 1breadstick | Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a

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Recipe Rating


  1. Mary Paulsen says:

    Paula, I want to make these for a dinner I’m in charge of at our clubhouse & I need 72. I would like to make them a few days/weeks ahead of time & freeze them. Will that work &, if so, how would you suggest reheating?

    1. Hi Mary,

      It’s so nice to hear from you. I have a post about how to make any kind of rolls (or breadsticks in this case) ahead of time. You might want to take a look at it.

      It sounds like you want to go ahead and bake the rolls ahead of time. I suggest you parbake at a lower temperature (275-300˚F) and don’t let them get brown, but they should reach an internal temperature of 190˚F. After they cool, freeze them. Bake them straight out of the freezer at a much higher temperature like 425˚F. It won’t take long for them to thaw and brown. Be sure to brush them with butter both before and after baking or the crust may get too dry. I hope they turn out great.

  2. 5 stars
    These came out great and went over BIG for spaghetti night.
    These are WAY better than the Olive Garden. Easy and delicious.
    Thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Fred,

      I’m thrilled that your breadsticks were a hit. Sounds like that made you look good. Awesome! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

  3. Hi Sara,
    I have racked my brain for what is happening. Are you weighing your ingredients and using the tare button between each ingredient? Or are you using measuring cups? Normally, people who use measuring cups add too much flour. So I’m think you are weighing. Is there something wrong with your scales perhaps? I have made that recipe many times and I just went over it ingredient by ingredient to make sure there were no mistakes. This recipe is very similar to pizza dough. It shouldn’t be anywhere close to thin cake batter. I am stumped with the information you gave me. So sorry.

  4. Patricia Nielsen says:

    5 stars
    I make at least two to three loaves of bread at a time. My question is about freezing the bread dough before baking. How do I freeze the dough?

    1. Hi Patricia,
      I rarely freeze dough except for pizza dough. In my opinion, homemade bread dough doesn’t bake up as good after it has been frozen. Unlike frozen bread dough, you can purchase from the supermarket, it doesn’t have the same preservatives and dough conditioners. But if you want to try it, you can go two ways: 1. After you pull the dough out of the bread machine, press all the bubbles out. Form the dough into a ball and double-wrap it. When you’re ready to use it, let it thaw in the refrigerator. When thawed, shape as desired, let it rise a final time and bake. 2. After you pull the dough from the bread machine, press all the bubbles out. Shape the dough into a loaf or rolls. Immediately double-wrap and freeze. Thaw in the fridge. When the dough is puffy and risen, bake as usual.

      Hope this helps.

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely phenomenal. Great flavour.

    1. Glad you liked them Jacqui. Thank you.

  6. Could you half this recipe? I have two small boys and we could never eat this many breadsticks.

    1. Hi Morgan,
      Yes, you can halve this recipe. Your boys must be very small. My two boys could put these away by the time they were 8 or 10. Your boys will love them. By the way, homemade bread is a cheap way to fill up teenage boys. You’ve got some time to practice.😜

  7. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe exactly as written. These turned out amazing! They were so soft on the inside. I am going to try this recipe as a French loaf shape tomorrow and see if it turns out just as good. Thank you for publishing this.

    1. Hi Kristina,
      You’re welcome. Glad you enjoyed them. Let me know how they turn out as a French loaf.

  8. 5 stars
    Turned out delicious !!

  9. 5 stars
    Really great recipe! Super easy & delicious. My husband was so happy and requested I make them again soon.
    One opportunity for improvement: I was reading the directions and adding the ingredients in order, as specified. The last line of step 1 read ‘reserve 1/4 cup water’ but I had already added the full 1 cup, as suggested by the directions before that. In the list of ingredients, instead of 1 cup water, maybe you could list as ‘1 cup water, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup’ to alert cooks that there is a direction somewhere to use the split. Thank you.

    1. Hi Denise,

      I’m thrilled that your husband liked the rolls. High five!!

      A big thanks for writing about the confusing directions. I have corrected that by deleting that instruction to save back any water. It’s easier to adjust the moisture level later than to try to remember not to add it originally or add it later. If the dough is too wet, it’s easier to add some flour to make it right.

  10. Heather B says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe turned out amazing! So soft and everyone loved them! Used half and half as my milk. Beautiful and delicious! Bread machine did most of the work. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Christine S says:

    I tried to view the pictures but could not. I took off privacy mode, I went to the mobile side and I went to the desktop site but I cannot see the pictures. Not sure what’s up. So can you tell me if the breadsticks are touching like the dinner rolls do once they rise a second time? Thanks.

    1. I’m sorry you can’t see the pictures. I will check it out. Meanwhile, it is hard to say if the rolls will touch because it depends on how tight you twist them and how long they are. The rolls should be nice and puffy. They might touch and they might not.

  12. 5 stars
    Well I am here yet again to leave 5 stars for these awesome sticks! I struggled a bit with the twist and confused myself on the water measurements, but a lil extra flour when I peaked fixed the problem. Despite my mistakes these babies were super DELISH!! I froze half and take what I need when needed and I think they actually taste better cause the flavor is sealed in??? Anyway Thanks, I’m making more today!I think I will maybe throw in a pic next!

    1. Hi Teri,
      Congrats on your delicious rolls. I’m so glad to hear the little peeking trick helped you recover.

  13. 5 stars
    I made these today and they were delicious.

    Two things I noticed — 1. Where I am seems extremely dry so I had to add extra water to the recipe, and even then the dough came out a bit thick (this has been happening to all my recipes this winter). This made twisting a bit difficult.

    And 2. I baked one batch on the middle rack of my oven, giving them a crispier outside, and I baked one batch on the top rack which gave a softer more even bake. Both were great, so this might be a good thing to note for anyone who has a preference for one over the other.

    1. Hi Matthias,
      It sounds like you’ve got the hang of adding more liquid or flour to your recipes as necessary. Weather affects bread more than many people give it credit. If you let the breadsticks rest (10-15 minutes?) after you cut them and before you try to twist them, it helps. Of course, you don’t have to twist them at all–just leave them straight.

      Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience with baking your breadsticks. I’m sure other readers will find it helpful. Ovens can be so different from each other depending on the manufacturer, size, age, etc. You really have to know your oven.

  14. 5 stars
    These breadsticks are gorgeous. I froze half of them at the roll out stage took them out later and let them rise at room temperature before cooking. My family reckon the batch that had been frozen were even better than the unfrozen batch. Kids are even placing orders for them now

    1. Thank you, Julia
      That’s fantastic news. I’ve never tried freezing the unbaked sticks of dough so I’m glad to hear it works. Other readers will also be glad you took the time to share that tip with us.

  15. Do I let the dough prove in the bread machine and then roll it out, cut it, and let the sticks prove until puffy? Or do I take the dough out as soon as it is mixed and only let it prove once I cut it into sticks?

    1. Hi Amy,

      Do the first thing you said. Let the dough prove in the bread machine. Then, roll it out, shape, and let rise until puffy before you bake in your conventional oven. Wish I could help you eat them.

  16. I feel like you are missing baking instructions?

    1. Hi Brigitte,
      Sometimes, the instructions for a recipe disappear mysteriously. However, I just looked and I see them where they should be–after the ingredients. Sometimes there is an ad between them. Take another look and if you still can’t find them, let me know and I will email you the recipe by itself.