There is great satisfaction in making your own bread, of any kind, and grissini is no exception. As you can imagine they taste a million times better than those bland cardboard sticks you buy off the shelf. They are also impressive to bring out if your having people over for drinks or for a pre-dinner snack.
This recipe is simple, no waiting for dough to prove and no kneading. It does require some patient, time consuming rolling though, I will not lie. It’s worth it though and never again will I buy a box of those perfectly formed bland grissini off the shelf. I always say that, everytime I make something like this, I’m surprised by the result.
This recipe was adapted from a recipe by Katie Caldesi in her fabulous book, The Italian Cookery Course.
100mls lukewarm milk, whole or half fat
3g dried yeast
160g ‘OO’ or strong flour
55g soft butter
a large pinch of salt
Heat oven to 160°C. Mix the milk and yeast. In another bowl mix the flour and butter with your hands, so it resembles the texture of breadcrumbs. Add the parmesan and salt and lightly mix in, again with your hands. Add the milk and yeast mixture and mix until it comes together as a soft slightly wet dough. Turn out on a lightly floured bench. Roll out the dough until it it about 3 or 4 mm thick. Slice the dough in half and then start taking 2-3 cm slices. I didn’t take a photo so I have drawn you a picture so you can get the idea. If your clever enough to roll it out into a rectangle thats fantastic but mine always looked like this and I suspect your will too. Obviously you will have to take larger slices where the dough is shorter but really just treat it like soft playdough. This is forgiving dough. Roll into long sticks and gently lay on lined baking tray. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.
Rosemary version: Finely chop some rosemary, leave on your chopping board and roll your stick in it before placing on baking tray.
Sesame version: Spread some sesame seeds on you chopping board and roll stick over it. These taste and look good but kind of annoying as all the seeds tend to fall off when your trying to eat it.
Parmesan version: add an extra 25g grated parmesan to the mixture. Or just separate about a quarter of the dough and gently work about 5-8g extra parmesan into it before rolling out into sticks.
Olive version: Chop 3-4 olives (green or black) very finely. Add a small pinch to a stick before you have rolled it. Work it into the dough so the olives will be integrated. The added moisture the olives bring will require you to roll it in a little flour on your bench until you are able to handle it easily enough to roll. These are a little more challenging but just require gentle patience.
Prosciutto version: Just simply wrap thin slices of prosciutto around the plain grissini sticks after you have baked it.