Recipe: Grissini (breadsticks)

McKoy, Kirk -- - Gift Guide Cover. Homemade gifts: bread sticks, prunes in armagnac. Gift guide item.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 55 minutes, plus rising time

Servings: Makes 4 dozen breadsticks

Note: Grissini are easy to flavor: Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary to the dough. Or add freshly cracked black pepper, thyme, caraway or other spices or herbs. Or sprinkle the grissini with sea salt or other specialty salt just before baking.

1/2 cup warm water

1 package active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1. In a large bowl, combine the water with the yeast, sugar and one-half cup of the all-purpose flour. Set aside for 10 minutes, until bubbly.

2. Stir in the remaining all-purpose flour, wheat flour, olive oil and salt and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Wash out the bowl and coat it with a thin layer of olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

3. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into four pieces on a floured surface. Roll out each piece into a rectangle, 4 by 12 inches. Cut the dough lengthwise into one-third-inch-wide strips. Place the strips about one-half-inch apart on a greased baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough. Allow the grissini to rise until puffed, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees.


4. Bake the grissini, in batches, on the top shelf of the oven until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool on a rack and continue until all the grissini are baked. Cool, then store in a sealed bag, being careful not to break them.

Each breadstick: 22 calories; 1 gram protein; 4 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 1 gram fat; 0 cholesterol; 48 mg. sodium.