Grissini (Italian Style Breadsticks)

breadsticksAs I said earlier, Mark and I have been watching “The Great Britain Baking Show,” and have been inspired to try more creative bread baking. This recipe is one of those inspirations. I’ve made it three times now, and like this last batch the most. Grissini lends itself over to experimentation, and the combination of herbs and Parmesan cheese is wonderful. Follow your own inclinations, something I’ve learned leads to rather wonderful culinary discoveries. Even Paul and Mary (from the show) would have affirmed the flavor, snap, and bake of these breadsticks.

They take a couple of hours to make, but only about one hour of active prep–the other time is patiently waiting for the yeast and oven to do their work. I figure patience is a good practice for me–for all of us–these days, especially in that we live in a culture more comfortable with “instant”  than the slow paying attention to more gradual moments and movements.

Grissini (Italian Breadsticks)


  1. Mix 4½ oz warm water, 1½ tsp. yeast, and a pinch of sugar and rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Sift 1½ tsp. salt and 8 oz. flour (I use 1/4-1/3 whole wheat. One could also experiment with rye or buckwheat) into a bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center and add yeast/water plus 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Mix to a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  5. Add 1-2 Tbsp. grated fresh Parmesan cheese and 2 Tbsp. minced herbs (e.g. rosemary, oregano, thyme, dill, chives)
  6. Knead dough on floured surface about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  7. Roll the dough out to about 6”x8” on a floured surface. Brush with olive oil, cover and leave to double in bulk (about 1 hour).
  8. Cut dough in half across the shorter length, then cut each half into 10 strips.
  9. Stretch and pull gently (avoid tearing dough) each strip to about 12″ and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  10. Once baking sheet is full, brush each piece with olive oil. (Opt. press each piece into line of sesame seed or poppy seed and then twist.)
  11. Leave the baking sheet in a warm place, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to at 350°.
  12. Bake at 350° about 30 minutes until the grissini are pale golden, turning pan half way through the bake. They should be crunchy, not chewy.
  13. Place on a wire rack to cool.

These store well in an air-tight container for several days.



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