Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mellow Bakers: Grissini (May)

So I just had to get that Tuscan bread off the top of my page. Looking at the Mellow Bakers' breads for May, I noticed that grissini seemed to be a fairly quick one.

Indeed! At 3:20, I mixed the ingredients (bread flour, yeast, salt, olive oil, softened unsalted butter, and water) and kneaded them in my stand mixer for five minutes. The dough was beautiful: silky, smooth, not sticky at all.

When I first read the description of grissini (p 256 in Hamelman's Bread), I planned to try both the roasted garlic version and the cheese and pepper version. Unfortunately, making these tonight was a spur of the moment decision and I didn't have any garlic roasted (except for a tiny bit of frozen and I was worried about what it would do to the temperature of my dough); you're supposed to add it to the ingredients at the beginning. So I proceeded with the dough, and I roasted some garlic while the dough was fermenting, using the speedy method detailed on the King Arthur website.

I put the dough into a cup to ferment for an hour. It didn't move. Luckily, I had read Steve's experiences and remembered him saying that his never moved either, but that the breadsticks turned out fine.

Then I divided the dough into 1 1/3 ounce portions and let them rest. And then I realized that, since I was in the middle of cooking dinner, I probably should've just rolled them and cut them with my pizza cutter. But they were already in pieces, so I rolled each one out by hand; actually, it went pretty quickly. I experimented with four toppings:

My variations:
* rolling the sticks in Parmesan and freshy ground black pepper
* rolling the sticks in sesame seeds and kosher salt
* pressing the dough into a rectangle, spreading roasted garlic on it, and then rolling them up
* combination roasted garlic inside and cheese outside

Then I put them in a 380F oven for 25 minutes (they were not golden after 20).

Verdict: Easy peasy recipe! Started at 3:20 and by 5:30, we were sitting down to spaghetti and homemade breadsticks. These were very tasty! Even my non-bread-eater little guy liked them. I'm excited to experiment with other variations. Hubby and I both prefered the plain garlic ones the best. The cheese and garlic combos were our second favorite and then the cheese-only. I didn't like the ones with salt and sesame seeds. I think next time I will make them with the garlic incorporated in the batter, although I may use more than Hamelman calls for . . . I roasted an entire head of garlic and it was only enough for about a dozen breadsticks, and even in those, the garlic flavor wasn't very strong. But I'm really excited to add such a quick and tasty recipe to my repertoire!


  1. They look and sound sooo good. I can't wait to make these...I'll keep in mind to add more roasted garlic.

  2. I might move these ahead on my list....

    (I had to smile with your reference to the Tuscan bread, amazing how many of us got traumatized by it!)

  3. Now after I've made Parmesan and pepper biscuits, I could imagine that Parmesan and pepper grissini are divine! Really looking forward to making these.