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Also Known As
Grissini, Grissini Sticks, Breadsticks
Bread sticks are long, thin pieces of crispy, dry bread. The origin of bread sticks can be traced back to the Italian city of Turin, as early as the 14th century. The original design for bread sticks was hand-rolled and sometimes twisted into various shapes.
A basic bread stick recipe uses flour, water and salt. However many chefs nowadays use some or the other variety of yeast dough to make bread sticks. Pizza dough is most suitable. The dough is rolled out flat, cut into strips, rolled into cylindrical sticks and then baked till golden and crispy. The trick is to always achieve the crisp and dry texture without allowing the bread to burn.
They can be baked plain, just seasoned with salt or flavoured with garlic, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, honey, paprika flakes, caramelised onions, herbs like rosemary, thyme, etc. Nowadays, several options such as whole wheat or even multi-grain bread sticks are available in the market.
How to select
• While bread sticks are relatively easy to make, most people prefer to buy readymade ones.
• If purchasing from the bakery, ensure they are just out of the oven!
• If buying from the supermarket, choose a reliable brand and check the dates of manufacturing and expiry, and seal of the pack.
• Bread sticks are commonly served with soups, as part of the bread basket that also contains buns, dinner rolls, etc.
• Bread sticks can be flavoured with herbs, cheese, tomato puree, garlic etc. When flavoured, bread sticks add more flavour to soups.
• In fine dining restaurants, bread sticks are served with tossed salads, spaghetti etc.
• They can also be combined with ingredients like Prosciutto to form classical starters.
• They are often offered at wine tasting sessions to cleanse the palate in between tasting wines.
How to store
Store bread sticks in airtight containers away from moisture. Use within a week.