Pokey Sticks – Homemade cheese breadsticks that are the perfect addition to your next pizza night!
If you went to a big college town in the Midwest (Madison, Iowa City), you probably know what Gumby’s Pizza is. And you have probably had Pokey Sticks a time or two in your day. And if you have never had Gumby’s, these are similar to the cheesy breadsticks at your local pizza restaurant.
Since I am no longer in college, I had to figure out a way to make them at home! I came up with this recipe shortly after I got married and we have been making them ever since. It is one of those recipes that you make so often, you just have memorized.
If cheese breadsticks are on a menu at a pizza restaurant, I am going to order them. I am always interested in trying new versions to see what people come up with. Sometimes they are super thin, sometimes thick, sometimes just tons of cheese…you never know until you try them what their style is. Well these are a thick and airy crust that is light and fluffy. Topped with a seasoned butter mixture and then plenty of cheese.
You can dip in either ranch dressing or pizza sauce, that is up to you! Back in the day you got both when you ordered for Gumby’s, so at our house both are on the table when we make these.
Cheese breadsticks from scratch might sound a little intimidating because their is yeast involved. But trust me, they are super easy! Just a little mixing, 2 minutes of kneading and you let it rest. Because it is similar to a pizza crust you don’t let it rise for very long. You don’t want the texture and thickness of a dinner roll, just a thick pizza crust.
How to Make Cheese Breadsticks
- The first step is to make the dough. Whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and the yeast.
- Measure the temperature of your water. You want to make sure it is not too hot it will kill the yeast and not too cold that it won’t activate the yeast. 110-115 degrees is perfect!
- Add water and oil to the flour mixture and mix until it starts to come together in a ball.
- Generously flour your counter and turn the dough onto the floured surface. Now you will knead the dough for about 2 minutes. You want it to come together and be smooth and no longer sticky.
- While the dough rises mix together the seasonings for the topping. This gets combined with the melted butter and brushed over the dough once you roll it out.
- Cover with cheese and bake. It will get golden on the edges and the cheese will be all melted.
- Serve with pizza sauce or ranch dressing.
I love getting to make copycat recipes like this at home. The Gumby’s in Madison closed, so we can’t even go visit when we go back home anymore. So getting to pass this recipe on and share it with friends who have never had it is always fun!
I have made a ton of other copycat recipes on the blog as well! And if you are looking for one, be sure to let me know so I can see if I can recreate it!
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- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 Tbls Rapid Rise Yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup Hot water (115 degrees)
- 1 Tbls Canola oil
- 2 Tbls Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 cup margarine, melted
- 1 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 tbls cornmeal
- Butter or Shortening for greasing the pan
- Whisk together flour, yest, salt and sugar. Combine the water and oil, and mix into the flour mixture. Mix until it forms a ball.
- Turn onto floured surface and knead for about 2-3 minutes. Just until it is no longer sticky. Put into a bowl sprayed with non-stick spray and let rise for 20-25 minutes or until it doubles in size.
- Meanwhile grease a large baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with cornmeal. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- While the dough is rising mix together the Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and onion powder.
- Spread the dough out onto the prepared baking sheet. Using your hands gently shape into about a 12 inch circle.
- Combine melted margarine and Parmesan cheese mixture. Brush evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.
The recipe calls for margarine because I think this closely mimics the taste of the Gumby's original. But you can definitely use butter instead.
Amount Per ServingCalories 486 Total Fat 22g Saturated Fat 8g Trans Fat 2g Unsaturated Fat 13g Cholesterol 30mg Sodium 716mg Carbohydrates 58g Fiber 3g Sugar 1g Protein 14g