Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
20 mins. to 30 mins.
Baking time:
60 mins. to 1 hrs 15 mins.
Total time:
1 hrs 20 mins. to 1 hrs 45 mins.
Yield:
about 6 dozen bread sticks and 2 cups dip
Here's one of the easiest, tastiest appetizers you'll ever make. Simply slice a loaf of bread into sticks; brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with seasoning; bake until crisp; then serve with a simple, two-ingredient dip. Summertime, and the livin' is easy!
Volume Ounces Grams

Bread

Dip

  • one 8-ounce block cream cheese
  • 1 cup salsa

Directions

  1. 1) Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil into the bottom.
  2. 2) To make the bread: Combine all of the bread ingredients except the ground cumin and chili powder. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes; the mixture will be very soft and sticky.
  3. 3) Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan, and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes, until it's become puffy.
  4. 4) While the batter is rising, preheat the oven to 375F.
  5. 5) Uncover the pan of dough, and drizzle it lightly with additional olive oil.
  6. 6) Bake the bread until it's golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove it from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool to room temperature.
  7. 7) While the bread is cooling, make the dip. Combine the cream cheese and salsa in a microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan. Heat in the microwave (covered), or over low heat over a burner, until the cheese is soft and the salsa has started to bubble a bit.
  8. 8) Remove from the heat, and stir until well combined. Store in the refrigerator (covered once it's cool) until ready to serve.
  9. 9) To make the bread sticks: Slice the bread in half lengthwise to make two 9" x 13" pieces. Cut each piece in half again crosswise to make four 6 1/2" x 9" pieces. Cut each of those pieces into sticks about 1/2" to 3/4" x 6 1/2".
  10. 10) Lay the sticks side by side on two large, lightly greased baking sheets. Spray, brush, or drizzle with olive oil.
  11. 11) Mix the ground cumin and chili powder, and sprinkle over the sticks; a fine sieve or tea strainer works pretty well here.
  12. 12) Bake the sticks in a preheated 350F oven for about 30 minutes, until they're starting to turn golden brown and are dry and crunchy.
  13. 13) Remove the sticks from the oven, and cool right on the pan. When they're completely cool, store airtight at room temperature for up to a couple of weeks; freeze for longer storage.
  14. 14) Serve the bread sticks with the chilled dip.
  15. Yield: about 8 servings.

Tips from our bakers

  • For a cheesier dip, add 1 to 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese to the salsa and cream cheese before heating, if desired.