Grissini

Grissini are pencil-sized sticks of crisp, dry bread originating in Turin and the surrounding area in Italy. They are originally thought to have been created in the 14th century; although according to a local tradition, they were invented by a baker in Lanzo Torinese (northern Italy) in 1679. Grissini may be offered at the table in restaurants as an appetizer, in some instances or regions they may be a type that is larger than pencil-sized. They may also be combined with ingredients such as prosciutto as anhors d’œuvre. Pre-made, dried breadsticks may sometimes be sold in markets as a kind of snack or a pre-meal appetizer for home use, somewhat similar to a cracker.

Ingredients:

(makes 20)

1 tbsp malt syrup

2 tsps dried yeast or 15 g fresh yeast

500 g plain (all-purpose) flour

1 ½ tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

fine semolina

grissini

Preparation:

Put 310 ml warm water in a bowl and stir in the malt and yeast. leave until the yeast foams. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, add the yeast and oil and mix until it clumps together.

Form into a ball and knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 – 6 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Put the dough on a lightly oiled tray and squash out to fill the shape of the tray. Brush with oil. Slide into a plastic bag and leave for an hour, or until doubled in size.

preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F, gas 8) and lightly oil two baking trays. Sprinkle the dough with semolina. Cut into four portions along its length, then slice each one into five strips. Pick up each strip by both ends and stretch out to 20 cm (8 inches) long. Place on the trays, 5 cm (2 inches) apart. Bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Cool slightly on the trays and then on wire rack.

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