I am quite proud of myself - I have finally achieved something I have been wanting to successfully do for years : crunchy grissini!
You know those bread sticks that come in little packets at certain Italian restaurants, that you can sometimes buy in bundles at specialty food shops? (The only time I ever see them is at the Kirks sale - and I can't walk past them.) I just love them. I have tried and tried to reproduce them at home, but mine have always been too soft. You would not think it was so hard to produce a dry bread, would you? None of the recipes I had found, in books or online, have resulted in the dry, crumbly sticks for which I hanker. I have tried changing the recipe and the preparation, but finally I have discovered that the answer lies in the baking.
GrissiniAs pictured above, I served the crispy, crunchy grissini with prosciutto, mortadella, salami and mozzarella for a wonderful antipasto.
makes 12 long ones
225g bread flour
15g fresh yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
Luke warm water
Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water and mix in 50g flour to make a soft dough. Leave for 15 minutes to start to bubble. Mix in the salt and the rest of the flour, adding enough warm water to make a good dough. Knead well and leave to double in size for an hour.
Divide into 12 pieces and roll into thin sausage shapes as long as your baking tray. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave again in a warm place for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 250°c.
Put the grissini in the oven and turn the oven off. Keeping an eye on them, and test one after 20 minutes, turning the oven onto 100°c if you think it is necessary.
I wonder if you could use the same technique used with biscotti where you par cook them, then slice them and then cook them again till they are crisp? Maybe cooking the bread till they are done (like soft pretzel sticks) letting them cool, and then cooking them again to crisp them up.
That could work! I'll give it a go next time - good idea Chris!
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