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Extra-virgin Olive Oil Breadsticks in Three Flavors Recipe

Extra-virgin Olive Oil Breadsticks in Three Flavors Recipe

Extra-virgin Olive Oil Breadsticks in Three Flavors Recipe

grissini all’olio extra-vergine di oliva ai tre sapori

Preparation time : 20 minutes + 1 hour to rise + 7-8 minutes cooking time

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • soft wheat flour (preferably Italian type flour) 4 cups (500 g)
  • brewer’s yeast 1 oz (30 g)
  • extra-virgin olive oil 3 tbsp + 2 tsp (50 ml)
  • water 1 cup (250 ml)
  • fresh rosemary, finely chopped 1 oz (30 g) about 1 cup
  • sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped 3 tbsp (20 g)
  • black olives, finely chopped 3/4 oz (20 g)
  • sugar 13/4 tsp (7 g)
  • cornmeal or semolina as needed
  • salt 11/2tsp (10 g)

Method :

  1. Dissolve the yeast in 2/3 cup (150 ml) water. Combine with the flour, remaining water, sugar and oil. Dissolve the salt in a few drops of water and add it at the very end. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Mix the rosemary into 1 piece, the sun-dried tomatoes into another and the olives into the third. Cover them each in plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place until they double in size.
  2. Cut each one into pieces as thick as your finger. Dip them in cornmeal or semolina and stretch them into breadsticks (long or short as you prefer) by hand.
  3. Place them in a pan lined with parchment paper and immediately bake in a preheated oven at 500° F (260° C) until golden brown and crispy, about 7-8 minutes.

The mysterious origins of breadsticks

Legends about the origins of a particular food often pop up after it’s become popular. This was the case for breadsticks, a new stickshaped bread from Piedmont. It seems that the invention, or at least the popularity of breadsticks is linked to the history of the House of Savoy. Young Vittorio Amedeo II (17th century) was in poor health and often suffered from fevers and intestinal disturbances. The court doctors, in keeping with the dietary principles of the time, attributed these problems to the consumption of partially raw bread. So the bakers were asked to produce a new kind of bread: light, pure, healthy, and well cooked, almost like a hard cookie. But it’s more likely that breadsticks, or grissini, are simply an extreme version of gherrsa or grissia, a traditional Piedmontese bread, similar to the baguette that’s still so popular in France. One thing is definite – breadsticks were long reserved for aristocratic tables only.