Grissini or Traditional Italian Bread Sticks
Even Napoleon Bonaparte loved the “little sticks of Turin”

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Grissini or Traditional Italian Bread Sticks

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Ingredients

550 g Plain flour
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
7 g Instant dried yeast or 15 g fresh yeast
330 ml Lukewarm water
60 ml Olive oil
50 g Sesame seeds
2 small Onions
30 g Parmesan cheese grated
1/2 tsp Paprika powder
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Ingredients

Directions

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Grissini actually means “breadstick” in Italian. The Italians have a long tradition of making long, thin pieces of crispy, dry bread that typically were eaten along with main Italian dishes like pasta and spaghetti. The fog of time led to large number of myths regarding how they got started. It was probably developed in Turin, Italy, sometime in the 14th century AD, when a cook had leftover pizza dough and decided to experiment with it. Or maybe grissini were actually invented around the end of the 17th century to cure the health problems of young Duke Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy. Grissino Torinesi are breadsticks in the style of Turin and even today, are popular and the pride of Turin.

They are a far cry from their soft, chewy pizza parlor cousins, grissini are long, thin breadsticks. They are crisp all the way through and can be flavoured with various herbs, seeds, and spices to complement whatever else you may be serving. You can wrap them with paper-thin slices of prosciutto for a classic presentation, but they’re equally delicious served just as they are. Read on for the recipe and technique for this easy-to-make bread sticks.

Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix them together with a dough hook. If you are using dry yeast, add it to the bowl. Make sure to mix at low speed. If you are using fresh yeast, let it dissolve in a small bowl with some of the water.

Add the water, the yeast mixture (if you are using fresh yeast) and the olive oil to the flour mixture. Mix at low speed until the dough starts to come lose from the bowl. This should take approx. 3-4 min. Let it rest for 15 min. Mix for another 3-5 min. at medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Grease a large bowl with olive oil. Turn the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl. Cover it with a clean towel and let it rise on a warm spot until it doubles in size, approx. 60 min. You could also cover it with cling film and leave it in the fridge for a night.

Take it out of the bowl and unto a lightly floured working space and knead it for 2-3 min. Divide the dough in smaller portions the size of an egg and shape it into sticks as thick as your little finger. Cover with flour. Sprinkle 1/3 of the bread sticks with the sesame seeds. Take another 1/3 and knead some onions through (fry them first with a drizzle olive oil). The last batch contains the grated parmesan and paprika.

Put the finished bread sticks on a baking tray, but leave some room between them. Cover the grissini with a towel and let them rise for 60 min.

Heat the oven to 230°C. Bake the grissini until they’re brown, but not to dark. Approx. 5-10 min. Let them cool before removing them from the baking tray.

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