At the Table

Sourdough Grissini

Sourdough GrissiniBet you’ll never guess whatI’ve been baking up lately.  Because it’s definitely not a sourdough recipe – I mean, it’s not like I love baking with sourdough starter or anything.  Um…just kidding?It has been a long time since I’ve had grissini – this crunchy, crackery version of breadsticks.  I used to buy them, and their mini-bagel shaped cousins, Taralli, when I studied in Italy.  Back in the US, I forgot all about them until a couple of weeks ago when I absent-mindedly left some pizza reheating in the oven for a bit too long.  The too-crunchy crust tasted exactly like grissini and I knew I needed to learn how to make them. And because I like a challenge, I figured I might as well make a sourdough version!

These aren’t a snack that you can make on a whim – you’ll need to plan ahead because the dough rises overnight.  It is worth it, though, for the tangy sourdough flavor.  The recipe is easy, too, so even though it takes a while the hands-on time is a very manageable 15 minutes or so.

Sourdough Grissinimakes about 32

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. fed sourdough starter
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. honey
2 T. olive oil
2 t. garlic powder or other seasoning, optional

Using a dough hook, mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl until they are well combined.   Add more flour or water if needed, to make a dough that is soft but doesn’t stick to the bowl.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is elastic and can stretch without tearing.  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to coat all sides with a light coating of oil.  Cover it with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about eight hours, or until it has doubled.  Depending on your kitchen temperature, the rise time might vary, but an overnight rise works for me.

Once the dough is risen, empty it onto a lightly floured work surface.  Punch the dough down, but do not knead.  Cut the dough in half, and then, working with half of the dough at a time, cut each half into 16 even pieces. Shape the pieces into balls and then use a rolling/stretching motion to form them into long, 1/8″-1/4″ thick ropes.  Arrange the ropes onto parchment or silicone-lined baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until they are a pale golden brown.   Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking to keep the grissini from burning.

Happy baking!


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