I haven't made grissini before but by the looks of these bread sticks, I think they would be fun to make. The dough is pretty much similar to that of pizza and like pizza you can flavour them with practically anything you fancy. You don't have to worry about how the sticks look and it's pretty much like playing with dough. I made these on a Sunday lazy afternoon and we had these for tea time with a cup of coffee. The grissini were delicious warm from the oven and I think the flavours I enjoyed best were the ones with garlic and parmesan.
Grissini (Thin Bread Sticks)
Yield: 64 bread sticks
Recipe Adapted from Baking Illustrated
623g all purpose flour
397g water at room temperature
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Topping of your choice (I used a mixture of various ingredients. 1st batch - sesame and fennel seeds; 2nd batch - cracked black pepper with Italian herbs; 3rd batch - garlic flakes, crispy bacon bits and grated parmesan and 4th batch - garlic flakes, grated parmesan and oregano)
1) Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl of a stand-mixer. Using a dough hook, mix the ingredients for about a minute.
2) Combine the water and olive oil in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, add the liquid to the dry ingredients in a steady stream.
3) Change to speed 2 and mix the ingredients for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. (If the dough is still sticky, add a bit more flour)
4) Roll the dough into a ball and place the dough in a lightly oiled container. Turn the ball of dough around to ensure that it is all covered with the olive oil. Cover the container with clingwrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 90 minutes.
5) Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
6) Punch the dough down and then divide the dough into four equal pieces. The steps that follow will be repeated for each of the four pieces. Keep the pieces you’re not working with covered.
7) On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a rectangle about 12 x 8 inches. Cut the dough into 16 strips of equal width. A pizza cutter works very well for this.
8) Fold each strip over on itself (half lenthwise as this makes the dough stronger). On an unfloured surface, roll the strip into a long snake. Make it a bit longer than the length of your baking sheet, to allow for spring-back.
9) Place each strip evenly spaced apart across the width of the parchment-lined baking sheet.
10) Lightly spray or brush the grissini with olive oil and sprinkle on the topping. Cover the baking sheet loosely with clingwrap and leave aside for 20 minutes.
11) Bake for about 25 - 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.