We had to use the bread flour, the yeast, the parmesan. We were going away on a long, long adventure and the pantry at home still housed a plethora of baking ingredients that had to be taken care of, lest they go unused for months, maybe years. Our decision to make a long-term move to sunny Singapore gave us reason to make these lovely grissini sticks. They were the very last thing we baked before I flew the coop on Christmas Eve (with James to follow in mid-January). Yes, to a different country altogether. Goodbye, Australia. I’m back in my homeland now and, ironically, am starting to feel a little homesick. Also, I am sad to report that the apartment here does not actually have an oven (yet), which means you will not be seeing any cakes or cookies on this blog for awhile.
Grissini is actually one of my favourite things to nibble on. Long, thin and delightfully crisp all the way through, they make simple and aesthetically pleasing additions to dinner soirées and picnic lunches. And saying you’ve made them by hand will give you extra brownie points and impressed nods all around the table. Of course, plain grissini is superb, but one can also enjoy these Italian breadsticks flavoured with cheese, garlic and herbs for a more savoury, robust twist. And don’t forget to serve them with a side of pitted olives and thin cuts of proscuitto for a truly mouthwatering hors d’oeuvre. Or should I say, antipasti.
Herbed Parmesan & Sea Salt Grissini (Italian Breadsticks)
1 teaspoon (3g) instant dried yeast
a pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
250g bread flour (white strong flour)
60g grated parmesan
1 teaspoon sea salt
fresh rosemary and/or thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, finely chopped
- Fill a small bowl with 2/3 cup warm water. Stir in the yeast and sugar until the sugar dissolves, then leave to stand for 10 minutes, or until foamy. Stir in the olive oil.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, parmesan, salt, herbs and garlic. Mix well, then pour in the yeast mixture and stir until a dough forms.
- On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Form into a rough ball.
- Grease a large bowl with oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Coat the dough in the oil by turning it over in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 200°C and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
- Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured work surface. Cut dough in half and roll out one of the halves to form a 8″ x 6″ rectangle. Cut into thin strips and gently roll each strip to form sticks about 9″ long. Place onto prepared baking tray. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crisp and golden, turning the trays halfway through to ensure sticks are evenly cooked.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.