I have been wanting to make my own Grissini ever since I took a cooking class from a local chef a couple of weeks ago. While we prepared some fabulous dishes with the chef, we were able to sip wine and snack on wonderfully crisp, pencil-thin Grissini that he had sitting out on the counter.
One of his assistants in the kitchen had told me that they made them with pasta rollers so all I needed to do was find a recipe! After a bit of searching on the internet I found one on the Los Angeles Times website that sounded just right. Instead of rolling out the dough and cutting it by hand, I got out my KitchenAid stand mixer and pasta attachments.
After the dough was assembled, kneaded and allowed to rise, I passed the first section of dough through my pasta roller and, much to my delight, it worked beautifully! It took a little trial and error to get the pieces formed into a nice rectangle.
The sheets of dough were then passed through the widest pasta cutter attachment that came with my set, which cut them into approximately 1/3 inch-wide strips, which was exactly what the recipe called for.
Here are all my pans lined up and ready for a another short rise before they are baked. Just before I popped them into the oven, I misted them lightly with olive oil spray and then sprinkled them with sea salt.
Success! They were just like the ones made in the chef's kitchen! I made one batch with chopped thyme added to the dough and another batch with chopped rosemary. I believe these will last for a couple of week ~ unless we eat them all before then ;)
Adapted from The Los Angeles Times
Makes about 4 dozen bread sticks
1/2 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Finely chopped herbs of your choice, such as rosemary or thyme
Prepare four baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Combine the warm water with the yeast, sugar and one-half cup of the all-purpose flour in a large bowl. Allow to rest for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
Add the remaining 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour, the wheat flour, olive oil and salt and mix together lightly. Pour out onto a clean surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Clean the bowl and coat it with a thin layer of olive oil then return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into four pieces.
Pasta Roller Instructions:
It's best to work with one piece of dough at a time from rolling the rectangles to cutting into strips to avoid letting them dry out too much and to prevent sticking.
Using the roller attachment of your pasta machine (I use a KitchenAid stand mixer with pasta attachments) run the first section of dough through until you obtain an evenly-shaped rectangle about 4 inches wide by 10 inches or so long. You may have to fold the dough over several times before you achieve a nice rectangle - just as you would with pasta dough.
Still working with the same piece of dough, attach the 'wide cut' roller (as in fettuccine width) and feed dough rectangle through the cutter.
Quickly, separate the dough strips onto one of the prepared baking sheets, spreading them out flat and leaving about 1/2 to 1" between each strip. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes or until they puff up slightly.
Repeat with the remaining sections of dough, one at a time.
Alternately, you can roll out each piece into a rectangle, 4 by 12 inches using a rolling pin. Cut the dough lengthwise into one-third-inch-wide strips using a sharp knife or pizza cutter.
While strips are resting, preheat oven to 400 and place one shelf on the highest level of the oven.
When ready to bake, spray one sheet of grissini with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt or sea salt.
Bake the grissini in single batches on the top shelf of the oven until lightly browned, about 9-10 minutes, rotating halfway through. Watch carefully during the last minute or two so they don't get too dark. Cool, then store in a large plastic bag or preferably in a rectangular plastic container so that they don't break.