Yesterday we went grocery shopping at the Italian supermarket. While waiting in line at the cash register I saw several boxes of grissini, and suddenly it crossed my mind that I’ve been having those on my to-do list for a while now. So I had two options: Either buy them – which automatically leads to having more time off during the well deserved weekend – or make them. Guess what? I picked the latter one.
This is my very first attempt. So I decided to give it a try with almost the same ingredients that I usually use when I make bread or pizza. And the result was surprisingly good! The experiment turned into a recipe to be added to my recipe book, and after passing the test here I am sharing it with you :)
I could have sticked to the simple plain version, as they are known in Italy most of the time. But I wanted to give it a try with black olives. As much as I love olives, they couldn’t be missing! The other twist included homemade capocollo. Capocollo (capo = head, collo = neck) is a sort of dry-cured ham that is part of the many homemade products that are very common in Calabria., and not only. This one I have used has been made by my aunt, which makes it even more special to me, besides tasting so good!
Coppa is probably the most common ‘ham’ that can be found outside of Italy. Otherwise you can always use regular ham, or bacon. Herbs and parmesan cheese are other alternatives that I can think of. No matter which twist you will pick, there’s enough for every taste :)
250 g / 8¾ oz of flour
130 ml / 4½fl oz of lukewarm water
7 g / ¼ oz of fresh yeast (alternatively dry yeast: 1/3 of the fresh yeast amount!)
½ tsp of sugar
1 level tsp of salt
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
additional olive oil to brush the grissini
* * * * *
Mix the lukewarm water with the yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Add the flour, salt, and olive oil.
At this point add the chopped olives or/and ham. If you decide to try different versions of it, I recommend splitting the recipe into different bowls and add the additional ingredients separately. This will make your life a lot easier than adding them after the dough has been kneaded!
Knead until you get a smooth dough. Cover it up and let it rest for about 1½h in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle (approx. 1cm / almost ½ inch thick). Cut out strips of the dough. Now hold with your hands both ends of each strip and gently pull it a little longer while barely twisting it.
Place immediately on a baking sheet covered baking sheet.
Brush the breadsticks with olive oil and bake for about 20-30min until lightly golden-brown.
Enjoy them as a starter or as a snack with dips!
Prep Time: 2½h
Makes 1 baking sheet