Grissini sticks are the ultimate accompaniment to an antipasto or cheese plate. These more-ish ones are simply seasoned with fennel and sea salt, but feel free to experiment with other flavour combinations.
- 300 g (2 cups) bread or pizza flour, plus extra to dust (see Baker’s tip)
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 1½ tsp salt
- 200 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to brush
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Proving time 1 hour
Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine the water and oil, then add to the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix to a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-8 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic and springs back when you push your finger into it.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning it to coat lightly with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. 3. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Knock back the dough by punching it in the centre with your fist. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough in half and then use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out each portion of dough to a 20 x 25 cm rectangle about 7-8 mm thick. Use a large sharp knife to cut the dough lengthways into 1.5 cm-wide strips. Combine the crushed fennel seeds and salt and sprinkle over the strips. Then use your hands to roll each strip into a thin log about 32 cm long. Place the grissini on the lined trays as you roll them about 1cm apart. 5. Brush the grissini lightly with a little extra oil. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking time, or until deep golden and crisp. Cool on the trays.
• Bread and pizza flour (also known as ‘strong’ flour) has a higher gluten-content than regular plain flour. This type of flour is more suited to use in yeast-based bread recipes like this grissini and will give you a better texture (the resulting bread will be more ‘bread-like’ with a slightly chewy texture rather than a fine cake-like texture).
• These grissini will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. To refresh the grissini, place on a lined oven tray and bake at 180°C (160°C fan-forced) for 10 minutes or until crisp and aromatic.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.
For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: Crowd pleasers.