Grissini: Classic Italian Breadsticks (ModBak)

This week’s entry for the Modern Baker Challenge is Grissini, or Italian Breadsticks. These breadsticks are very simple to make, containing only flour, water, salt, olive oil, and active dry yeast. The recipe calls for both warm and cold water — warm to activate the yeast; cold to cool the dough in the food processor.

Because I was using instant yeast, I didn’t have to dissolve it in water first, so I mixed the yeast with the flour, salt, and olive oil in the food processor, then added all cold water. The recipe makes 24 breadsticks, but I didn’t want that many, so I halved the recipe. After mixing the dough, I put it in an oiled container to ferment.

I let the dough proof for about an hour, until it had doubled in volume.

After the dough had fermented, I put it in the refrigerator to chill. The recipe says to refrigerate the dough from one to 24 hours. I wanted to bake the Grissini with dinner the next day, so I left the dough in the fridge for about 22 hours. The next day, I took the dough out of the fridge, pressed it into a rectangle, and cut it into 12 pieces.

I rolled each piece of dough into a roughly 15-inch cylinder and put them on a baking sheet.

I baked the breadsticks in a 325°F oven for about 25 minutes, until they were golden and crispy. I let the Grissini cool on the pan, then put them in a tall glass for serving.

I served the Grissini with Dorie Greenspan’s Potato Gratin. The breadsticks were crisp and light and paired perfectly with a meal. They could easily be spiced up by adding herbs to the dough or by topping them with sesame seeds or cracked pepper. But I liked them the way the were — crisp, crunchy, and delicious.


  1. Margaret said,

    November 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Look perfect. On my list – eventually. My bread baking has suffered lately. Have trouble eating lots of eating or giving away bread. **SIGH**

    Grissini are good tho.

    • gaaarp said,

      November 20, 2010 at 12:43 pm

      I should give away more of it, as I have no trouble eating it all!

  2. Kayte said,

    November 20, 2010 at 9:23 am

    These were delightful…the taste was very good and I have made them twice again, once rolled in toasted sesame seeds and once with rosemary in the dough, all good. Yours look great, makes me want to reach up and take one. See you at 2:00 for Twitterbake!

    • gaaarp said,

      November 20, 2010 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks. I was wishing I had made a full batch, as they stayed nice and crispy over the next few days as we munched the rest of them. Rosemary sounds delightful.

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