These crispy Italian breadsticks are hand-pulled, not rolled, which makes each one rustic and unique. They are delicious plain or dressed up, as I’ve done here with paper-thin slices of prosciutto, creamy blue cheese, pears, and dates for a tantalizing appetizer spread. The next time you’re hosting a dinner party, imagine a few platters or jars of homemade grissini lining your table as an edible center piece.
About the Dough: For this method, the bulk dough is chilled overnight once fully risen. The firm, cold dough gives you a bit more control when pulling and twisting it.
- Yield: 24 Grissini
- 0.33 cup (75 g) bubbly, active starter
- ½ cup plus 2 tbsp (150 g) warm water
- 1 tbsp (12 g) sugar
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp (5 g) fine sea salt
- Oil, for coating
- Cornmeal or semolina flour, for dusting
- Prosciutto slices
- Blue cheese wedges
- Soft dates
- Sliced pears
- A few days before baking, feed your starter until bubbly and active. Store at room temperature until ready to use. Make the dough
- In the morning, whisk the starter, water, and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and salt. Combine to form a rough dough with no lumps of flour remaining. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Replenish your starter with fresh flour and water, and store according to preference. Bulk rise
- Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise until double in size, about 8 to 10 hours at room temperature, 70°F (21°C). Once fully risen, cover the dough loosely in oiled plastic wrap and chill overnight. Divide and Shape
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Line 2 sheet pans with nonstick silicone mats or parchment paper. Dust heavily with cornmeal to prevent sticking.
- Remove the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide it into 2 equal portions and let rest for 10 minutes. Working with one portion at a time, roll the dough into a long oval shape, about 12 × 5 inches (30 × 13 cm) with a floured rolling pin. Keeping the width narrow is important, as the dough will stretch in length as you hand-pull the grissini. Let rest for 10 minutes before shaping.
- With a lightly oiled pizza wheel or bench scraper, cut the dough across into ½-inch (1.3-cm) strips.
- You should end up with about 12 strips in total. To shape, grab the ends of the dough and lift it up while gently twisting to fit the short end of your sheet pan. If there is any resistance, let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes and try again. You’ll notice that the weight of the dough will do most of the stretching for you. Second rise
- Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, roll, cut, and shape the remaining portion of dough. Bake
- Bake one sheet pan of dough for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden. Then bake the second sheet pan of dough. Cool completely before serving to ensure extra crispiness.
- Grissini will last 2 to 3 days when stored at room temperature in an air-tight container.