Since Olive Garden won't give out the recipe, here's the closest one to the real thing! This recipe calls for a Kitchen-Aid mixer with the paddle attachment, but I'm sure you could use something similar. From Food Network magazine.
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 4 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon fine salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄8-1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch dried oregano
- Make the dough: Place 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a mixer; sprinkle in the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, butter, sugar, fine salt and 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water; mix with the paddle attachment until a slightly sticky dough forms, 5 minutes.
- Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until very smooth and soft, 3 minutes. Roll into a 2-foot-long log; cut into 16 1 1/2-inch pieces. Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 7-inch long breadstick; arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a cloth; let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Make the topping: Brush the breadsticks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Bake until slightly golden, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the garlic powder and oregano.
- Brush the warm breadsticks with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the flavored salt.
- Serve warm with salad.