When I go to pick up my children from school I am never greeted with a loving hug and how lovely to see you attitude…oh no…I get: “What snack did you bring?”, usually followed by some sort of attempt to rummage through my bags without getting caught (not successful by the way!). If I forget to bring one, I’ll tell you, it gets pretty ugly…Tantrums, tears, abuse, blame…the guilt…only a parent knows the feeling!
In search of new snacks (you do get desperate to please sometimes as a Mum) I tried making these bread sticks the other day (grissini for the posh) – with left over pizza dough! It worked a treat. I have since made them again and refined the recipe a bit – mostly to try new flavours!
As you read the recipe do not get freaked out by the words “fresh yeast” and “baking” used in the same sentence! You can do it! It really is easy and fun…and appart from that gorgeous snap and crunch when you eat them the children absolutely jumped for joy when I brought them to the playground as an after school snack….150 g plain flour 150g rye flour About 200ml luke warm water (maybe a little less so go easy with the pouring!) 10g fresh yeast (or one sachet of dried yeast) 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt (plus some for topping) 1 tbsp good olive oil (plus some for brushing with) Handful grated parmesan cheese (can be omitted)
- Put the flour, parmesan and salt in a large bowl or a food processor. Either stir by hand or pulse machine to combine.
- Mix water, yeast and olive oil in a separate cup and stir until the yeast is dissolved.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour in a steady stream while you are stirring – or while your food processor is running. Keep a bit of the water mix back to ensure you do not add too much and make the dough too sticky. If it does go too sticky…yes…it happens…just add a bit more flour. No tears or stress please…not the end of the world! 🙂
- Process until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Drizzle a little olive oil into a bowl and place the dough in it – swirl the bowl around to cover the dough with the olive oil. It will look something like this!
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in volume. An hour should be enough but no harm will be done if you leave it for 2!
- Preheat the oven to 190C and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Dust your work surface with flour and, using small bits of dough at a time (keep the dough you are not yet using covered in the bowl), roll rectangle shapes – dimensions are not critical – but for those that love exact directions probably about 30cm by 20cm….
- Cut the rectangle shaped dough into strips (again, not critical that they are identical but does make the baking in the oven bit easier if they are similar in size). A sharp knife worked for me. You will now have something that looks like this in front of you!
- Take a strip – it will feel really cool and quite elastic in your hands – and let it grow longer in your hands. Fold it over itself – so it is not so long and to make it stronger (halve it and double up I guess you could say – did that just confuse you even more?) and then roll it into a snake shape – my little ones really enjoyed this bit….
- Lay the strips on your baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt (or your choice of topping – hey – go pink and sparkly if you want!). They will all look different but taste equally great – that’s individuality for you!
- Place your bread sticks in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Keep an eye on them and take them out as they get brown and look crunchy! If they cook too little they will be slightly chewy rather than crisp….just bear that in mind!
- Once done cool on a wire rack and enjoy the taste!!!
You can flavour them as you like! My favourite combination is sea salt and rosemary – (if doing this omit the parmesan so your flavours don’t crash!) Sugar and cinnamon also works (again, no parmesan for that one!).
Look how pretty – it made me so happy making, looking and eating them! Give it a go!