Grissini – crunchy bread sticks
On a summer trip to Italy we tasted some very good grissinies in Orta San Giulio by Lake Orta. So it was just to lure the ingredients out of the restaurant owner, who could tell that it was a local baker who was master behind these crispy bars. They were dark, with a little wholemeal and tasted of more. The darkness came from roasted malt, which also gave the grissinies that extra twist – but the malt can of course be left out. So here is my version.
3 cups water
1 teaspoon dry yeast or 15 gr yeast
1 tsp salt
3 tablespoons good olive oil
150g wholemeal flour (I used Öland wheat)
250g plain flour tipo 00
1 teaspoon roasted malt *
1 teaspoon baking enzyme *
How to cook it
Dissolve yeast, malt and enzyme in the water and mix with the wholemeal flour. Let rest until there is good activity in the mixture and add the rest, apart from all of the flour. You must add some flour at last to be sure you get a rather thin but smooth and supple dough. If you want other ingredients in such as rosemary, oregano, grated parmesan or chili, it is also now.
Leave to rise at least an hour – it must at least up to double the size, so if it takes longer, it’s just waiting. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece out into a long “sausage” that you now divide into 8 pieces. Roll out into long sticks that fit on your baking sheet, typically 20-25 cm. To give them another look you cab twist them. When you roll, do not get too much flour on your kitchen table – it’s easier if it sticks a little bit.
Let your grissinies raise about an hour, then bake at 180°C until golden (around 15 minutes or more), but beware you do not bake too short time when they should be crunchy inside. Cool on a wire rack and store airtight. If they for any reason should get soft, you can just give them a few minutes in the oven, then they are fresh again.
They can easily be eaten as they are, but if you have hummus or tapenade or some other dip the grissinies fit well.