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Breadsticks (grissini)

  • 45 minutes
  • Medium
  • Bread, focaccia, pizzas
Light and crispy, grissini are an ideal appetizer or can be served with dinner.

Ingredients: Per 6 servings

  • 1 ½ lb wheat flour
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ oz salt
  • ¾ oz fresh yeast
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • durum wheat flour to taste

Preparation:

Knead the mixture of wheat flour, extra-virgin olive oil, a little salt, yeast and water for at least half an hour.

Then divide the dough into the required number of pieces and allow to rest for a few minutes. Make quite long rolls. Place them on a damp pastry board. Flatten the rolls out with your hands and allow to rise.

Then cut out stripes of dough, place them on a layer of semolina then “stretch them” by hand at arms-length, so that they take on the typical shape of breadsticks.

Bake in a moderate oven (350°F) until cooked.

Food History

The history of grissini is closely related to that of Piedmont, a region of northwest Italy. Grissini were actually invented at the end of the 17th century to cure the health problems of young duke Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy. The duke had major difficulty digesting most foods and Don Baldo di Lanzo, the court doctor, commissioned the court baker, Antonio Brunero, to make an extremely light and friable bread. Antonio decided to take a part of the dough use to make ghersa, a typical bread of Turin, and stretch it out into long, thin strips. Once baked, the thin breadsticks were crisp and easy to digest. Thanks to this recipe, the duke’s health improved and, after a couple of years, he was able to take of the thrown. He was crowed king in 1713. Legend has it that the ghost of Vittorio Amedeo, with a grissino in hand, still haunts the rooms of his old castle.

Did you know that...

Napoleon had a complete fixation for grissini (which he referred to as the”little sticks of Turin”) and had them shipped to him daily directly from Turin?

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