Garlic, Lemon, and Poppy Seed Breadsticks

Lemon and poppy seeds are commonly paired in sweet baked goods. But don’t overlook their savory possibilities. The pungent oil from the lemon zest compliments a variety of foods, including meats, fish, vegetables, and cheeses.

Serves: 32Hands-on: 35 minutesTotal: 2 hours 20 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 32


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1¾ tsp. active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 5 cups bread flour


  • In a small sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic, reduce heat to low, and cook until tender and barely browned, about 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Combine water, sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add milk, sautéed garlic and its oil, salt, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons poppy seeds, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Return to bowl, dust with flour, cover with plastic, and rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1½ hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line three baking sheets with parchment. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface and pinch off golf-ball-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a thin rope, about ¼" thick. Place on prepared pans, ½" apart.
  • Brush remaining olive oil across sticks, then evenly sprinkle on the remaining poppy seeds. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 8–10 minutes. Cool and serve.