How to Make Grissini | Italian Breadstick Recipe
Updated: Feb 25, 2022
Grissini are the authentic Italian breadstick, invented during the 17th century in Turin. Apparently a young Duke suffered from indigestion after eating soft bread, so the royal baker created these thin, crunchy crackers!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
Makes about 40 breadsticks.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 cups (240g) bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 3/4 cup (170ml) water
- 1 tsp. (4g) active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp. (8g) salt
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing and topping
- Toppings! Chopped rosemary and sesame seeds are great. We also really like mixing some blended kalamata olives with olive oil to make a spread.
- Semolina flour or corn flour for dusting
We also recommend having a bench scraper on hand!
Place the bread flour in a large mixing bowl. In a cup, stir the yeast into the water until it dissolves. Pour this into the flour and mix with a wooden spoon.
When all of the flour has dampened, add the salt and continue to mix. Once a manageable dough forms, transfer it onto a clean work surface. Spread it slightly flat, then drizzle 2 tsp. of olive oil on top. Fold the oil in and begin kneading by hand.
The dough should become quite sticky. You can, at this point, use a bench scraper to fold the edges into the center instead of getting your fingers sticky! Watch the video above to see the technique.
Once you have worked the dough for about 5 minutes, form it into a ball and place a mixing bowl over it. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
After the dough has rested, scrape it off the counter and fold it several times. Do this by picking it up, folding it in half on itself, then turning it 90 degrees and repeating. Fold the dough about 6-8 times.
Place the dough into a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
Lightly dust a large work surface with bread flour and transfer the dough into the center. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle that can fit into a 9x13-inch baking pan, or similar. Lightly dust the dough with flour if it's sticky but try to use as little as possible.
Thoroughly brush the baking pan with olive oil, place the dough inside, and spread it out so it fills all four corner. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise one more hour.
After it has risen, brush the entire surface of the dough with olive oil and cover with the toppings of your choice. Use a bench scraper or knife to cut the dough into thin strips, about 1/2 inch wide. The strips should run widthwise across the pan, so they will be about 9 inches long. Now, cut all of these in half (see picture).
Preheat an oven to 355 degrees F (180 C).
Spread some semolina flour in front of you. Take one piece of dough, hold it in the air, and gently twist the ends several times. The dough should naturally sag a bit and lengthen. Brush the dough through the semolina flour once before placing the breadstick on a parchment-lined baking sheet. We strongly recommend watching the video above to understand the techniques involved!
Repeat until all of the dough is formed into breadsticks and arranged on baking sheets (you will likely need several sheets). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crunchy!