These breadsticks can be a classy accompaniment to your next dairy meal, and are a perfect complement to creamy soups. But the appeal isn’t limited to adults. Breadsticks are the perfect finger foods for babies and make a great choice for your next outing to the playground. This recipe uses a “sponge starter,” which is later added to the main recipe and lends the dough an exceptionally airy texture. The rising time is quite long but the taste more than justifies the time!
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water. Add the flour and stir.
Allow to rest for 2–3 hours, covered, at room temperature.
In a mixer bowl, combine the olive oil with the sugar and the sponge starter.
Add the flour and mix with the dough hook for three minutes at moderate speed.
Add the salt and mix at high speed for five minutes. Allow the dough to rest, covered, about an hour in the fridge.
Roll out the dough to a rectangle, 1/5th-inch (½ cm).thick. Cut into long strips, about three inches (7–8 cm) across.
Coat a baking pan with olive oil and position the strips on it, leaving space between the strips. Allow to rise for 20 minutes.
Bake at 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210 degrees Celsius) for 15–20 minutes, until golden.
There are many different toppings you can use for the grissini, although they are superb served plain as well. You can brush before baking with olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse salt. You can also sprinkle with garlic powder, oregano, and basil for an Italian flavor. Then there are the old standbys: sesame or poppy seeds, which also work very well.