Grissini originate from Italy and are long, pencil-thin sticks of crisp and dry bread. They are about the right size to stick up your nose, if you’re that way inclined. They are great to snack on, or to enjoy with soup or as an appetizer.
You know, I’ve never purchased grissini, nor have I ever thought about making them until I stumbled across a recipe in one of my baking books. They looked simple to make, and I knew they would be a hit with my roasted butternut and red pepper soup.
If you have no experience in baking bread, do not be afraid. Grissini are super-easy to make. To make it even simpler, I let my stand mixer knead the dough, then let the dough prove overnight before shaping and baking them to perfection.
The resulting grissini are crisp, dry and cheesy. It’s a great base recipe to add other ingredients to, for example, herbs, garlic, bacon or chopped caramelized onions. If at any time the breadsticks get a little soft, simply pop them back into the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up again.
CHEESY WHOLE WHEAT GRISSINI (BREADSTICKS)
Makes 22-23 x 26 cm (10 ¼ inch) grissini
Adapted from “Baking: A Commonsense Guide”, by Murdock books
- 120 ml (½ c) warm water*
- ⅔ teaspoon dried active baking yeast
- 1 pinch sugar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pinch salt
- 85 g (½ c and 1 tablespoon) wholemeal (whole wheat) flour**
- 85 g (½ c and 1 tablespoon) plain (all-purpose) flour**
- 40 g (½ c) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
* You may need to add a little more, or a little less water depending on the age of the flour.
** Can be substituted for 100% plain (all-purpose) flour.
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the water, yeast and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Stir in olive oil, mustard powder, paprika, black pepper and salt by hand.
3. Add flour and cheese. Mix the ingredients with the dough hook over low-medium speed until the ball of dough comes together. Then continue to knead for an additional 8-10 minutes.
4. Cover the bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) and pop into the refrigerator overnight for a cold prove. Alternatively, you can place the dough in a warm spot for 45-60 minutes or until double in size.
5. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 200°C (400°F) and line two baking trays (sheets/pans) with parchment paper.
6. Gently punch the dough down and divide into two equal sized portions. Roll each portion into a rectangle of 22 x 11 cm (8 ⅔ inch x 4 ⅓ inch). Using a pizza cutter and ruler, cut out 11 even-sized long strips.
7. Roll each strip into a 5 mm (¼ inch) pencil-thin sausage of about 26 cm (10 ¼ inch) long. Transfer dough strips to the prepared trays (sheets/pans), leave about 2.5 cm (1 inch) between each strip.
8. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-22 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Turn the sticks halfway through cooking to ensure even browning. If you prefer the breadsticks to be crunchy and dry, simply let them sit at room temperature for a few hours before enjoying!