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Herbed grisini (Breadsticks)

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The grisini are crispy and tasty, and match perfectly with all kinds of appetizers and dips. You can prepare them on the day before and they are really universal for many occasions – when you expect guests, to take with you on a picnic, or as a treat during long cold weekends at home.
In a well sealed box or zipper bag your grisini should stay fragrant and crispy for up to 3-4 days.Herbed grisini

Makes around 36 grisini

Preparation & baking time: one hour (plus 5-6 hours for rising)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. (14ml) olive oil
1 cup (240ml) lukewarm low fat milk
1,5 tsp. (7g) salt
2 cups (480g) strong flour (bread flour, baker’s flour)
1 tsp. (5g) dry yeast (or 9g fresh baker’s yeast)
Optional – 1 tsp. dry oregano, or other dry herbs of your choice

Method:

If you are going to use dry yeast (in small granules), you should activate it before adding it to the other ingredients. For that reason, dissolve the yeast in some warm water or milk, and try to come as close to 37 C (99F) as possible. You can use the same check they use for the babies milk – it should feel warm on the inner part of the wrist, but not hot. The mix should be bubbly in few minutes.

Fresh baker’s yeast only needs to be crumbled in small pieces, in order to dissolve easily in the mix. Using these two types of yeast requires two rises.

The whole amount of flour must be sifted. You can prepare the dough with the help of a food processor, bringing all ingredients together and kneading with dough hook on low speed for about 6-7 minutes.

Of course, you can make the dough by hand. In that case sift the flour together with the salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the milk, baker’s yeast (or the already dissolved dry yeast), and then the oil and herbs. Using a wooden spoon blend all together, and then knead with hands for 5 to 10 minutes.

At the end of the kneading process the dough under your hands must feel smooth and stretchy.

Form the dough in a ball shape and oil it all over. Put it in a clean bowl, covered with cling foil. I had enough time, so I left the dough to rise in the fridge for about 5-6 hours. In the end, it should double in volume. This process can be sped up, by putting the dough in a warm place, if you’re in a hurry. You can put it in the oven on lowest possible temperature (around 60 C), and it will rise for about an hour.

When the dough rises, knead it again for few minutes, to knock out the air. With oiled hands separate it onto 8 balls. Leave them to rest 10-15 minutes, covered with clink foil. Meanwhile you can prepare the baking sheets (I needed two), oil them lightly or cover with baking paper.

Take the first ball and roll it with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface into very flat disk (around 3 millimeters or 1/10 inches).

Cut equal stripes, around 15 cm (6 inches) long and wide no more than 1,5 cm ( around 1/2 inches). Using both hands roll every stripe of dough in opposite directions. They should look as twisted ropes. Continue in the same manner with the rest of the dough balls. Arrange the ropes in the baking sheets with a small distance.

Bake in preheated over 220 C (430 F) for 10-12 minutes, or until they become golden. Cool on the rack.


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