Black Pepper Parmesan Grissini Italian Breadsticks

Around here I usually make my parmesan breadsticks, which are big, fluffy, dunk in your pasta sauce breadsticks.  But every once in a while I make these, which are thin, crispy and well, super easy to make (takes less than 2 hours from start to finish!).

I had always made these plain, with just a sprinkling of salt on top before I bake them, but of course with my husband loving his black pepper olive oil crackers, I decided to spice these up a bit as well.  I also added some freshly grated parmesan.  Seems the hubby has fallen in love with freshly grated parmesan as well.

I got the original recipe from here.  I have obviously changed up a few things, but most stay the same.

Again, these really are quick to make and can be used for dips or simply eaten on their own.

Black Pepper Parmesan Grissini Italian Breadsticks

(makes 24 breadsticks)

Starter:

1/2 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat flour if you have it)

3/4 cup warm water (105 to 110°F)

1 1/2 tsp. honey

2 1/4 tsp. Active Dry yeast

Dough:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. finely ground black pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Topping:

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 to 2 tsp. black pepper

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together the starter (1/2 cup flour, water, honey and yeast).  Ensure all ingredients are well combined.  Let sit for 10 minutes, until starting to bubble.
  2. After the 10 minutes, add the dough ingredients (1 1/2 cups flour, salt, black pepper, parmesan and olive oil) to the starter and using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix these together to form a rough dough.
  3. Place bowl on stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, and mix on speed 3 or 4, for 7 minutes.  You may have to stop the mixer every once in a while to remove the dough from the dough hook, as it may start to “climb” the dough hook.
  4. Place the dough into a greased bowl (or simply remove the dough from the bowl of the stand mixer and grease the mixing bowl and place the dough back in), cover with plastic wrap and a towel and place in a warm spot (which is my oven – turned off with the light on) and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  5. After the dough has risen, start to pre-heat your oven to 425°F.
  6. Divide your dough into 4 pieces.  Then divide each of these 4 pieces into 6 strips.  I do this by take each of the 4 pieces and flattening them out into a rectangle and cutting them into 6 strips.  Then take each strip and stretch it out into a long snake.  (We’ve all made playdough snakes as children so this should be something your used to right?).
  7. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  (Once dozen per sheet – you will need two baking sheets).
  8. Once all the dough has been stretched and placed on the baking sheets, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and black pepper.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow rest for 15 minutes, while the oven is pre-heating.
  9. Bake in your pre-heated oven for 20 to 22 minutes, rotating the pans half way through.  You want the grissini to be slightly darker brown, don’t go for light golden brown, the darker they get the crispier they will be.  Just try to avoid burnt.
  10. Once you remove them from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
  11. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days, which is great if your having a dinner party or friends over, you can make these a couple of days in advance.
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