Grissinis are rustic thin, long and dry breadsticks (kaak) that are always served in Italian restaurants nestled in a basket alongside other slices of bread such as country bread and focaccia. Artisan or hand made grissini are easy to spot as they are uneven, wonky and differ in shape from one to one, which adds to the character.
These were always available in my kitchen when my children were young, it was a favourite snack, dipped in hummus alongside freshly cut carrot sticks. Years later, and it is still a favourite amongst all of us. I serve them with appetisers, salads, soups, cheese board or wrap then with cold cut meats such as bresaola.
There are several recipes for making breadsticks, but this is how I like my breadsticks, they are hard, crispy and rustic. Experiment with the reciepe as you can't really go wrong any way you prepare it.
Yield: 40 sticks
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour
baking: 35 minutes
620 grams flour
1 1/4 tablespoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
400 millilitres warm water
· Preheat oven to 170 C fan setting.
· Place all the ingredients in a stand-alone electric mixer and use the hook attachment, or you can place ingredients in a bowl if preparing it manually. If making by hand, you need to knead it for at least 10 minutes until soft, elastic and slightly sticky. If using the electric mixer, beat it on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes until smooth, elastic and slightly sticky.
· Transfer to an oiled bowl, cove and let it double in size in a warm place.
· Roll the dough out onto a floured board and knead it for a few minutes until soft and not sticky anymore. Cut into 4 pieces and roll into a sausage and cut each into 10 small discs.
· Roll each disc by hand until it reached a diameter of 1 cm. The length depends on the length of the baking tray and your personal preference.
· Place each rolled breadstick on a baking paper lined tray, brush the surface with olive oil, top with an ingredient of your choice, see notes, and leave to rest 15 minutes.
· Bake on the middle shelf but make sure when the breadstick tray is inserted into the oven, reduce the heat immediately to 150 C. Bake for 20to 30 minutes, they must be golden and crispy. If still soft bake for a further 5 minutes and check. If they are thick, they will require more time.
· Place on a cooling wire rack and store in an airtight container.
· Baking it in low heat yields a drier and crispier texture.
· Once you brushed the surface of the breadstick with olive oil, you can sprinkle parmesan cheese or chopped rosemary or sesame seed or even zaatar.
· Once totally cooled store in an airtight container.
Per Serving : 62 Calories; 1g Fat (9.1% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fibre; trace Cholesterol; 241mg Sodium.