Grissini or breadsticks are a great snack to serve at your party or simply nibble in between your meals. I wanted to make them easier to digest so I chose to use a rye sourdough starter instead of yeast. You can use regular store-bought yeast to make grissini, and it might be also quicker. However, I really like to take advantage of natural fermentation processes, the food made this way is literally predigested as the flour (and the gluten it contains) is partially broken down by fermentation when you start baking. And this is really helpful when you want to reduce your problems with digestion and help your body to access maximum nutrients from the food.
Naturally, I also used wholegrain flour so that more goodness can be absorbed by your body. Wholegrain spelt (or any other) flour is richer in many nutrients than white wheat flour and contains around 11 % of protein, 10 % of dietary fibre, and significant amounts of iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, E, and folic acid. If you do not like using solely wholegrain flours, it is perfectly fine to combine it with white flour.
(makes around 60 grissini)
- 180 g wholegrain spelt flour, plus more for kneading
- 120 g sourdough starter, taken from the fridge a night before and fed (I use wholegrain rye starter)
- 100 g (ideally spring) water
- 6 g salt
- 10 g olive oil plus more for brushing
- parsley/marjoram/thyme/oregano or any fresh/dried herbs of your choice
- sesame or poppy seeds for topping (or anything else you like)
- Mix flour with salt. In a separate bowl mix sourdough starter with water and stir until a sourdough dissolves in water. Then combine the flour mixture with sourdough and add oil as well as herbs if using.
- Knead the dough until it is more elastic, firmer, and just a slightly sticky. Add more flour if needed, especially when the dough is too sticky. After around 10 minutes, your dough should be ready and you can now brush it with a little oil, then cover the bowl with foil or a kitchen towel and set aside. Leave to prove in a bowl for about 2-4 hours. I always fold/shortly knead the dough at least once in the middle of proving (or when I leave the dough to prove longer then I fold/knead twice). This makes it harder for the starter to work and so it gains strength.
- After around 2-4 hours of proving divide the dough into 2 parts. Now preheat your oven to 170 °C.
- Roll out or simply pat the first half. Then brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a topping of your choice (I used poppy and sesame seeds).
- Cut about 1 cm wide stripes of dough with a sharp knife or a pizza cutter. Then stretch them slightly and transfer onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Set aside for about 20-30 minutes (while the oven is preheating).
- Bake for 10-25 minutes (this really depends on your oven and how thick your grissini are, so keep an eye on them). It is very important to check the grissini in the oven as they can get from perfectly baked and crisp to burnt extremely quickly.
- Start to work with a second half of the dough immediately after putting the first one into the oven.
- Store cooled grissini in an airtight container or a plastic bag. Serve with dipping sauces such as hummus, moutabal or guacamole.