Long crunchy sticks of bread better known as Grissini or Italian Breadsticks. These homemade breadsticks make the perfect appetizer or serve with a bowl of soup or stew.
There are some foods in Italian that everyone knows about, so there is really no need to translate. Such as Pizza, Pasta and Prosciutto!
Where did Breadstick originate?
But other foods maybe the less known foods such as these crunchy Grissini I wasn’t sure about. And I knew everyone would know what a bread stick was. But did you also know that breadsticks really are Italian, they originated in Turin Italy.
The legend is, that back in 1679 the Court Doctor ordered the Court Baker to invent a type of bread to feed the future King Vittorio Amedeo II. He was very unhealthy and could not digest the soft inside of the bread.
And so the Grissini / Breadstick was invented. The success of these Breadsticks was extremely quick, probably because they were easier to digest than regular bread and because they could be kept long, in fact weeks without going bad.
Another interesting story is that a famous admire of these Breadsticks was Napoleon Bonaparte, it is said that he created at the beginning of the 19th century a bus service that ran between Turin and Paris.
That was or so they say, mainly dedicated to transporting what he called “Les Petits Batons de Turin”.
- Water – luke-warm water
- Honey – or granulated sugar
- Flour – bread flour or all purpose flour
- Yeast – active dry yeast
- Olive oil
Make sure the yeast is still active
The yeast you are using could be old or dead, to tell if the yeast is still active, in a small bowl add a 1/2 cup of water, sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast and a pinch of sugar over the top, stir it up, then let it stand for about 5 minutes.
If the yeast is still active, it will dissolve completely into the water and the liquid will start bubbling.
Make sure your water isn’t too hot or too cold. Too hot and you will kill the yeast, too cold and it will take a long time for the dough to rise. The perfect temperature is 100-110F.
How to add yeast to the recipe
Before I made this dough I did a little research on the best way to make dough rise, I noticed that some people let the dough sit for 5 minutes in slightly warm or tepid water, others add it to their flour and then add the liquid on top.
I discovered a post by Tom Lehmann “The Dough Doctor” that basically said that both these methods can have ill effects on the dough.
How to Make Grissini / Breadsticks
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment add the water, salt and honey, then place the flour on top and add the yeast, mix on low speed to start then increase to medium speed for 2 minutes, add the olive oil and continue to mix for about 5-7 minutes or until you have a compact and elastic dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead a few time to shape into a ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Place in a draft free warm area to rise. Let rise until doubled in bulk.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a sheet of parchment paper that is lightly oiled, form into a flat rectangle shape and cut small pieces of dough.
Stretch with your fingers to form long sticks. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheets and bake until golden brown. Let cool and serve.
What additions can you add?
If you wish to add seeds such as poppy seeds or sesame seeds or add some chopped herbs such as rosemary or a sprinkle of Italian seasonings, even some freshly grated parmesan cheese to the dough. Gently knead the additions into the dough and continue with the recipe.
If you wish to add seeds or chopped rosemary before baking the breadsticks, then brush with a little olive oil or melted butter or even garlic butter, and sprinkle with seeds or rosemary.
Yes you can, instead of 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast use 3/4 teaspoon of active dry. Add it to the recipe the same way, the rising time will be quicker so keep your eye on the dough.
I like to serve these as an appetizer with prosciutto and cheese or along a bowl of soup or stew or even as an accompaniment with a simple salad.
Yes it can, add the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon until almost combined, move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead until elastic, this should take about 10-12 minutes, then continue with the recipe.
How to store them
The completely cooled breadsticks should be stored in an airtight container and kept at room temperature. They will keep for up to 5 days. I don’t recommend freezing them.
Italian Breadsticks / Grissini are really tasty and crunchy, they make a delicious appetizer, serve with your favourite soup or stew or as my daughter loves, as an afternoon snack. Enjoy!
More Yeast Dough Recipes
Grissini / Italian Breadsticks
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon water (lukewarm) (135 grams total)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon honey or sugar
- 1¾ cups + 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour (222 grams total)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2¼ tablespoons olive oil
- In the bowl of a standup mixer with the hook attachment add the water, salt and honey, then place the flour on top and add the yeast, mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, then add the olive oil and continue to mix for about 5-7 minutes or until you have a compact and elastic dough.
- Remove the dough** to a flat surface and knead a few time to shape into a ball. Place in a slightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap. Place in a draft free warm area to rise. Let rise for approximately 90 minutes or doubled in bulk.
- Pre-heat oven to 425F (220C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from the bowl and place on a lightly oil flat surface, shape into a flat rectangle shape and cut small pieces of dough. Stretch with your fingers to form long sticks. Place sticks** on prepared cookie sheets and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until golden. Let cool and serve. Enjoy!
** If you wish to add seeds or chopped rosemary to the dough than add it before the rising time. Gently knead into the dough and continue with the recipe.
**If you wish to add seeds or chopped rosemary before baking the breadsticks, then brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with seeds or rosemary.
Updated from August 24, 2018
Shiyara Dassanayake says
Can I make this using instant yeast
Hi Shiyara yes you can just be sure to use less instant yeast, for every teaspoon of active dry you should use 3/4 teaspoon of instant. And rising time will probably be shorter. Hope that helps.
Made these for a baby shower on a charcuterie. Seasoned with italian and garlic and another batch with greek seasonings sprinkled with a little dill weed … both so yummy. I got a wonderful crunch outside with just a perfect bit of chewiness inside! I used a pizza wheel to cut my strips. Definitely worth making again and again, and perfect for entertaining! Thank you for sharing!
Hi Kate, thanks so much, love the additions. Have a great weekend.
Stefanie Scaturchio says
i made these and they were very good. Can I ask you about the ” + 1/2 tablespoon flour.”..I don’t think I was that precise in measuring half a tablespoon as it doesn’t seem to me that it would make that much of a difference?? These were easy to make. Love all your recipes. I also have been making many from your new cookbook. So far, all of them have been very good. Thank you,
Hi Stefanie, the reason for the 1/2 tablespoons or there abouts you see on Italian recipes are because they are usually from Italian friends or family that I get in grams, so I use a scale to measure it out and usually there are extra tablespoon or two. 🙂
Stefanie Scaturchio says
i made these today with sesame seeds and everyone loved them! Thanks for another great recipe.
Hi Stefanie, thanks so much, so glad everyone enjoyed them. Have a wonderful Sunday.
Linda Ramirez says
I’m having such a good time with this site! I made these bread sticks, and they were perfect. My family loved them. Thanks so much, and keep up the good work.
Hi Linda, thanks so much, glad you enjoyed them. Have a great Sunday.