Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Grissini and a Giveaway!

Crunch. Crunch, crunch. Shnomf, munch, crinchety-cronch. Mmm. Pass me another?

These, my friends, are the thin, crunchy, Italian breadsticks known as grissini. A couple of weekends ago Adam and I spent an afternoon making sixty some-odd crunchy breadsticks for a dinner party we were going to that evening. No, I did not notice before we started that the recipe made 16 per portion of dough and therefore 16 x 4 = SIXTY FOUR. Heh.

But you know what? Between the 8 of us, we ate all of them. After a totally delicious meal of insalata caprese, goat cheese and portabello salad, eggplant Parmesan and cherry clafoutis, I looked over at the grissini platter and there were only 3 (!) left.

It stands to reason, then, that you should make these for your next party. I found them via Nick over at Macheesmo, who added a little whole wheat flour to the original recipe, but you don't need to. I used regular old all purpose flour and I was very happy with the results. If you play around with the toppings (cheese? chili powder? fennel seeds?) or flour (rye sticks with caraway seeds?) let us know in the comments, ok?

Oh what was that other thing I mentioned in the title? Riiight: giveaway! I'm moving into a new apartment in a month, and I'm trying to lighten my very heavy load of books. I thought you guys might appreciate some of the food-related novels and such so let's begin the giveaways with this one:

Have you read Julie and Julia yet? The movie's coming out at the beginning of August, so you better hop to it! If you'd like this copy, leave a comment on this post any time before midnight on Sunday, July 6. I'll pick a winner at random on Monday. Oh, and if you just cannot wait another minute to find out what other books I'll be giving away, you could sneak over to my Flickr photos. [Update: winner has been selected! Check it out here.]

adapted from Wild Yeast and Macheesmo
makes 64 breadsticks

623 g flour (about 5 1/2 cups)
397 g water at room temperature (scant two cups)
6.5 g (2 t.) instant yeast
9 g (1.5 t.) salt
28 g (2 T.) olive oil
kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Combine the yeast, salt, and flour in a large bowl. Combine the water and olive oil in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Eventually you will need to use your hands, and once a shaggy dough has formed, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 5-10 minutes. I added probably another 1/4 cup of flour total as I was kneading to keep my dough from sticking to the board.

Lightly oil the mixing bowl (no real need to wash it at this point) and place the dough in the lightly oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, 1.5-2 hours.

Once the dough has doubled, preheat the oven o 350F. Line a baking sheet (or two if you have them) with parchment. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Start with one piece and keep the others covered. Flour a work surface and roll the dough into an approximately 12x8 inch rectangle (no need to bust out the ruler here!). Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough rectangle into 16 equal strips. Fold each strip in half the long way (they go from 8 inches long to four inches long) and roll them out into long snakes on an UNFLOURED surface. It has to be unfloured, they need a little stickiness in order to come together and stretch out. Each snake should be a little longer than your baking sheet.

Distribute the snakes evenly across your baking sheets. Lightly brush them with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roll them around a little to catch the salt and pepper around them. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until golden; if you think of it, rotate the sheets once while baking. Cool the grissini on a wire rack - the crunch develops as they cool! Repeat with the other 3 portions of dough as baking sheets become available.


  1. I want that. Can I have it as a wedding present? :)

  2. Count me out of the giveaway (I read it, I didn't like it), but man, those bread sticks look amazing! Yes, I'll be making some soon.

  3. Haven't read it, would LOVE it!
    I know about the grissini phenomenon. I could exist on them and red wine, with perhaps just a smear of cheese every so often.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Try them with prosciutto rolled around them--amazing.

  4. Leah, if you win it I'll put a big white bow on it and bring it down in August!

    Kickpleat, what didn't you like about the book? I hope you DO like the breadsticks!

    Aimée, I did indeed try them with prosciutto - there was a prosciutto & melon app at the party :)

  5. i am so excited about hte movie!!! those look like great dippers :)

  6. I would totally make these with cheese on top! I have been meaning to read Julie and Julia before the movie come out, too.

  7. That book is one of my favorites! It was a great birthday gift and I can't wait for the movie.

  8. I would love to have this book. I'm going on vacation in a few weeks and need a good read! I cannot wait to see the movie!

  9. those breadsticks look amazing. Thasnks for the recipe. i will be making them soon.

  10. Food books are the best! I can't wait to read this (and then see the movie).

  11. Food books are always so much fun to get! I'm having a book giveaway on my blog as well. Hehe the breadsticks would be perfect with the soup I'm making for dinner

  12. I am dying to see this movie. As a child to an adult I have always watched Julia Child and till this day. As I cook in the kitchen my husband will walk in and start saying what I am doing in a Julia Child voice. Bless my sons heart who is 12 is always asking why is daddy doing that? I laugh and my husband just states if you only knew. Yes because he was there when I couldnt miss an episode and come on we didnt have Tivo back then lol

  13. I wonder if I can make a low carb version of that grissini. Hmmm, I might have to try that. And oh yeah, I'd love to have the Julie & Julia book! I'm a fan of both Js but haven't read the book. Gracias!

  14. Grissini have always tempted me in restaurants and at other people's parties, but it's never occurred to me to make my own. Now I'll just have to, and I have a broad bean dip that would be a perfect accompaniment. Yum!

  15. I loved the book, read it last year! I can't wait for the movie this summer!!! So fun!! Nice Grissini, looks tres snappy with a salad!! Yum.-Chris Ann