Christmas breadstick stars

A play on my traditional grissini, tweaked into a festive shape and covered with any toppings you choose, though here I have used hemp seeds, poppy seeds and parmesan.

Notes

Use a fine milled flour, an 00 grade if possible such as Murino Molina from Bakery Bits (which is what I used here) or plain white flour or bread flour for brioche. At a pinch, any strong white bread flour will work if you can’t get a fine flour, but it won’t give you the ultimate crisp snap of a proper grissino.

Equipment

  • Large bowl
  • Stand mixer with dough hook attachment – if not kneading by hand
  • Pizza cutter, bread scraper or long sharp knife (non-serrated)
  • Baking trays, lined
  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry brush

Ingredients

  • 300g tipo 00, fine plain or other white flour (see notes above)
  • 4 g fast acting dried yeast
  • 2/3 teaspoon of fine salt
  • 4-5 turns of a pepper mill
  • 15mg olive oil
  • 195g tepid water
  • Added ingredients of your choice, but I used:
    • poppy seeds (1-2 tablespoons)
    • hemp seeds (1-2 tablespoons)
    • grated parmesan (about 10g)
  • An egg, whisked and used as a wash
  • Additional flour, for dusting the surface as required

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together into a scruffy mess and leave for 10 minutes
  2. Tip out and knead for 8 – 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and glossy or mix it in your stand mixer
  3. Leave the dough to rest in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with a tea towel or cling film until about doubled in size (if using continental flour it is likely to just rise by about another 50% instead). This could be anything between 30 – 90 minutes depending on the ambient temperature
  4. In the meantime, grate the parmesan and ready your seeds/flavourings
  5. When the dough is ready, lightly flour a surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into as precise a rectangle as possible (any wobbly sides will need to be trimmed off)
  6. Cut strips from the dough, each about 1 cm thick – cut along the short edge
  7. Have the paper-lined baking sheets to hand
  8. Roll each of the strips lightly, so they form tubes rather than ribbons. Try not to stretch them too much (it will be easy to roll them on a less floured surface)
  9. Form a five pointed star with each strip of dough and pinch the two edges together at an end point:

    #breadstick #star #inksugarspice
  10. Complete stars with all the dough
  11. Cover and leave to rise again – for about 20-30 minutes until puffed up (they probably won’t double in size)
  12. Set the oven on to 200C fan / 220C conventional
  13. Paint an egg wash on each of the dough stars and sprinkle (or grate!) your favoured toppings on. I did a third of the stars in poppy seeds, a third in hemp seeds and the final third with grated parmesan
  14. Bake for about 17-18 minutes until a nice golden colour (under the toppings)
  15. Turn off the oven and leave for a further 5 minutes so they are crisp with a nice ‘snap’ when cooled and ready to eat
  16. Wonderful dipped in a little butter, hummus, salsa or to scoop up fondue or baked camembert
breadstick stars Christmas recipe by Inksugarspice

Grissini – flavoured with parmesan, olives or four seed mix

grissiniGrissini, or breadsticks, are a lovely accompaniment to a meal instead of a dinner roll and are a great party snack with dips or fondue but equally I just like snacking on them as they are.

These are happily light years away from those terrible, prepacked breadsticks that supermarkets sell (you may think the supermarket ones are alright, but you’ll change your mind after making your own. Warning: once you’ve made your own grissini you can’t go back). Plus the extra good news is they are very easy to make, you can flavour them with anything you have in the fridge or cupboard (or leave them plain) and they benefit from looking a little ‘rustic’ and homemade!

Notes

I used a tablespoon each of two different oils – a normal olive oil and a chilli oil. However, you can just use two tablespoons of the same oil.

French flour used for the grissini was from Wessex Mill but also see something like the Soffiato flour from Bakery Bits). Any other fine milled (look for ’00’ grade flour for ciabatta and brioche) will do just as well. However, if you don’t have extra fine flour and don’t want to buy it you can use any extra strong plain bread flour, such as from Allinson – this will result in grissini that are less crisp (but you won’t be able to tell if you have not tried grissini with continental flour to compare it to!).

Equipment
  • Large bowl
  • Stand mixer with dough hook attachment – if not kneading by hand
  • Pizza cutter or long sharp knife (non-serrated)
  • Baking trays
  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry brush
Ingredients
  • French/continental bread flour or strong plain flour – 225g
  • Fast acting yeast – 5g (or equivalent 17g of fresh yeast)
  • Salt – a teaspoon
  • Olive oil, plain – 1 tablespoon
  • Olive oil, flavoured with chilli and garlic – 1 tablespoon
  • Water, just tepid – 135 ml
  • Added ingredients:
    • Olives, stoned – about 5-6 of your favourite olives (I used black olives)
    • A mix of linseeds, sesame seeds, black onion seeds and poppy seeds – about a teaspoon and a half of each
    • Grated parmesan – about 10g
  • Rock salt – a few pinches
Method
  1. Mix all the ingredients together into a scruffy mess and leave for 10 minutes
  2. Tip out and knead for 8 – 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and glossy or in your stand mixer if using
  3. Leave the dough to rest in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with a tea towel or cling film until about doubled in size (if using continental flour it is likely to just rise by about another 50% instead). This could be anything between 30 – 90 minutes depending on the ambient temperature
  4. In the meantime, chop up the olives, grate the parmesan and ready your seeds and flavourings
  5. When the dough is ready, lightly flour a surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into as precise a rectangle as possible (any wobbly sides will need to be trimmed off)
  6. Use the pizza cutter to run along the dough cutting strips out about 1 cm thick
  7. Carefully transfer the dough strips to your (lightly floured) baking trays, leaving a little space between them. Try to line them up straight
  8. Cover and leave to rise again – for about 20-30 minutes until puffed up (they probably won’t double in size)
  9. Set the oven on to 200C fan / 220C conventional
  10. Once risen again, brush each dough strip with water and sprinkle over the different toppings – parmesan on a third, all the seeds and grains on another third and the chopped olives on the remainder. Sprinkle a little sea salt over all of them
  11. Bake for about 17-18 minutes until a nice dark golden colour
  12. They should be crisp with a nice ‘snap’ when cooled and ready to eat
  13. Wonderful dipped in a little butter, hummus, salsa or to scoop up fondue or baked camembert

grissini2