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Grissini ~ Bread Sticks

August 23, 2011

Grissini ~ Bread Sticks
Grissini ~ Bread Sticks

I have found myself pondering bread sticks for years.  How do they get them so long and crunchy, I would ask myself.  Well, I have the answers now.  Grissini or bread sticks are generally pencil-sized sticks of crisp, dry bread originating in Turin and the surrounding area in Italy.  They are originally thought to have been created in the 14th century; according to a local tradition, they would be instead invented by a baker in Lanzo Torinese (northern Italy) in 1679. Grissini are very popular in Spain as well, thanks Wikipedia.  Grissini are great appetizers and there unique appearance makes for a great presentation on the table.

You can make these bread sticks more aromatic by adding dried herbs, such as basil or oregano, or alternatively fresh garlic to the the dough.  Before baking if desired the bread sticks can be sprinkled with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, coarse sea salt, caraway, or fennel seeds.  These wonderful little snacks are so simple to make you will wonder why you haven’t been making them all the time.

Grissini ~ Bread Sticks

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons warm water

1/2 tablespoon dried yeast

To Prepare the Grissini ~ Bread Sticks

Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl.  Add the salt and sugar and make a well in the center.  Mix the olive oil and water.  Dissolve the yeast in this mixture and pour into the well.  Roughly mix all the ingredients together with a fork.  Next knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.  The dough will feel oily, don’t worry.

Put the dough in a bowl, cover and leave to prove at a constantly warm temperature for about 60 minutes.

Shape the dough into a ball and divide it into about 30 walnut-sized pieces.  On a lightly floured work surface roll out each piece into a long strip about 1 cm (0.5 inches) in diameter.  Lay the pieces of dough 10 at a time on a floured baking sheet.  Leave enough space for them to expand and rise.  Cover and leave to prove in a warm place at a constant temperature for another 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 400 F.  Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, then turn them and bake for another 5-7 minutes.  ATTENTION:  DO NOT LET THEM GET TOO BROWN!  Watch closely.  Store in an air tight container or zip lock baggie.

Makes 25-30 Grissini ~ Bread Sticks

Grissini ~ Bread Sticks

Grissini ~ Bread Sticks

I used these bread sticks for the remaining spinach and artichoke dip I had leftover from the other day.  You could eat them straight up or with any sort of dip you fancy.

From our kitchen to yours,
Sydney Jones

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