These breadsticks have a great crunch and an exotic, tangy taste. For a truly authentic flavor, don’t leave out the mahlab or the anise.
Mahlab (also called mahlepi) has a strong, pungent aroma, so be sure to use it in small quantities. It’s made from the seeds of the St. Lucie Cherry, which are ground into a coarse powder. The spice is most commonly used in savory Middle Eastern baked goods, breads, and the traditional crunchy pastry known as ke’akim.
Combine flour and yeast in a mixer bowl and mix with the flat beater attachment. Add the two types of oil, salt, anise, mahlab, and water, and mix until a soft, smooth dough forms. Allow dough to rest five minutes, and then knead intensively until the liquid is fully absorbed by the flour and the dough is not as sticky. (This dough does not need to rise.)
Fit your mixer with the meat grinder attachment, and add the sausage-forming tube. (This is usually a narrow plastic tube that can be purchased separately in stores that sell accessories and spare parts for mixers.)
Place the dough into the meat grinder and turn on the mixer. Use the pusher to press the dough through. It will come out of the tube in long, narrow strips. Use kitchen scissors to cut the strips of dough to the desired length. You can customize the length of the breadsticks to the height of the jar you’ll keep them in.
Place breadsticks on a baking sheet lined with Gefen Parchment Paper, making sure to place them close together, with only a slight space in between each one. Beat egg with a little salt and brush the tops of the breadsticks. Sprinkle immediately with a variety of seeds and garnishes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees Celsius), and use your oven’s turbo (convection) feature. Bake for about 45 minutes, until breadsticks are nicely golden.
Turn off the oven and allow breadsticks to cool inside the oven. This guarantees that you’ll get crispy, crunchy breadsticks.
Breadsticks can be stored in a glass container for up to two weeks, or for months in the freezer.
-Instead of long breadsticks, you can cut the ropes of dough into bite-sized pieces, or shape them into circles or traditional pretzel shapes.
-These breadsticks can also be made using whole wheat flour. Increase water by ¼ cup.
-The brachah on these breadsticks is mezonos.
If you don’t have this attachment, you can shape the breadsticks by hand. Cut dough into small, equal-sized pieces. Roll out into ropes of the desired size. The results won’t be as symmetrically perfect as the breadsticks pictured here, but they won’t be any less delectable.