These grissini (Italian breadsticks) will not last long at your dinner table
Grissini are crunchy pencil-sized breadsticks with a rustic, uneven appearance coming from the hand-stretched process.
They often accompany antipasti, they can be served as appetizers wrapped with paper-thin slices of ham, and they are also a great snack to nibble on.
Although I prefer them plain, these breadsticks are easy to flavor. Add chopped fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, seeds, spices to the dough, or sprinkle them with sea salt, sesame seeds, cumin seeds just before baking.
You can shape them any way you prefer, straight or twisted, thin or thick. The length of the breadsticks will be determined by how large your oven is. If you have a wide oven you can make very long sticks.
When you are stretching the dough to form the breadsticks, be careful not to stretch the center too thin or they will burn before the ends are fully baked.
This recipe makes about 40 grissini, which sounds like a lot, but I promise you will go through them quickly and you can store them in an airtight container for several days.
Grissini (Italian Breadsticks)
- 3 cups plus 1 ½ tablespoon (375 grams) all-purpose flour divided
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) water divided (add a bit more water if the dough is too dry)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + extra for brushing
- 1 teaspoon barley malt or honey
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- durum wheat semolina
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine 1 1/2 cup (180 grams) of flour, water (keep a couple of tablespoons of water on the side to dissolve the yeast), extra virgin olive oil, barley malt, and salt.
- Knead until you get a creamy dough.
- Dissolve the active dry yeast in the remaining water.
- Add the water+yeast, the remaining flour, and mix for about 20 minutes, until you have a smooth dough.
- Transfer the dough to a work surface, cover it with a clean dishcloth and let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Line your work surface with plastic wrap twice the size of the dough and brush it with extra virgin olive oil.
- Pat the dough into a rectangle
- and fold it twice to give it strength.
- Then place it on the plastic wrap, brush it with extra virgin olive oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (392 degrees F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a perforated baking tray.
- Cut a 1/2-inch (1.5 cm) thick piece of dough from the shorter side of the rectangle.
- Sprinkle durum wheat semolina on your work surface and roll the stick in the semolina.
- Stretch the sticks gently with your hands, starting from the center and tugging towards the ends until it is the length of the baking sheet.
- Place it on the baking sheet or on the perforated baking tray.
- Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the breadsticks 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart as they will rise a bit more while baking.
- Bake the grissini for 14/15 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool. To get them more evenly browned, you can turn them around in the last few minutes of baking.
- Store in an airtight container.