Forget shop-bought packet bread-sticks which are dry, tasteless and scarily uniform, making Grissini bread-sticks is fun and easy, perfect for a rainy afternoon with the children – they can eat their creations for tea!!
Modest ingredients can be magically moulded into scrumptious sticks that could grace the table of any Roman restaurant due to their authentic wonkiness, promising deliciously crispy delight. Children, especially, will enjoy rolling sausages of dough into the longest stick your oven will allow.
These long, thin sticks are perfect as an appetiser; whilst waiting for the main meal they are the perfect antipasto accompaniment, as they team wonderfully with cheeses, cured meats and olives. They make a perfect healthy snack, especially if flavoured with herbs, and can even be made into a light lunch if teamed with wafer-thin slices of Italian classics Prosciutto or Parma ham and dipped in a melted Fontina cheese – bliss… Heaven is a stick!
What you need…
(Makes about 40 bread-sticks)
1/2 cup of wholewheat flour
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon honey
1 package (1 level tablespoon) active-dry yeast
1 1/2 cup plain flour
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt (reduce to 1 teaspoon if you are adding a coating of coarse salt as a flavouring)
Oil for the bowl
Freshly ground salt & pepper
Prosciutto or Parma Ham
- The first step is the dough, if you are using a packet mix please follow the instructions until you are ready to form the dough into sticks.
- If making from scratch; mix flour, water & yeast in a bowl and leave to stand for approximately 10-15 minutes, by then the mixture should have sprung into life, and be bubbly.
- Then add the plain flour, olive oil and salt and mix until smooth and shiny, if hand kneading this will take around 10 minutes, if you are using a mixer, it should take around 7-8 minutes.
- Take the dough out of the mixing bowl sprinkle with a little olive oil, rolling around to cover the entire surface to prevent sticking, then return to the bowl, cover with a tea-towel and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (around an hour).
- Then preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7 and line 3 baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
- Then punch the dough down and divide into portions depending upon your chosen flavouring;
- Plain Grissini can be simply rolled out; roll out the dough until flat and cut a finger sized sausage and roll under the palm and fingers until long, don’t be too fussy, the knobblier and wonkier the better – you may need a little dusting of flour on the surface to prevent sticking. Then transfer carefully to your baking sheets.
- If you want to make herby sticks knead 1 teaspoon of herbs into the mixture and roll as before, if you want seeded sticks sprinkle a long snake of seeds onto the surface a little wider than your stick and gently roll the stick across the seeds, gently patting to encourage them to adhere to the stick.
- Leave them for another 10-15 minutes to allow them to rest and rise a little more and then put in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, but check every 5 minutes, rotating pans where necessary, as the thin Grissini catch very easily – remove once golden brown.
- Once cooled upon a cooling rack they can be stored for several days in an air-tight container – but from my experience they don’t ‘stick’ around that long!!