Sesame Grissini with Almond Garlic Dip

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Sesame Grissini with Almond Garlic Dip

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Published prior to 2008

Light, crunchy bread sticks rely on pastry flour–surprise!–for their texture.

Dough
3 1/2 cups (13 ounces) Round Table  Unbleached Pastry Flour
1 tablespoon Pizza Dough Flavor (optional,  but good)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup (8 ounces) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) olive oil or  garlic oil
2 teaspoons instant yeast

Topping
1 large egg white whisked with 1 tablespoon water*
1/4 cup (1 1/4 ounces) sesame seeds, toasted or plain; whole flax seeds, or the seeds/seed mix of your choice

*Or use our Quick Shine spray.

To make the dough: Mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients–by hand, mixer, or bread machine–till you have a smooth, fairly soft dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl big enough to allow it to double in size, cover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 24 hours.

Remove the puffy dough from the refrigerator, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Pat it into a 20" x 5" rectangle, and brush with the beaten egg white, or spray with Quick Shine. Sprinkle evenly with the seeds.

Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two large baking sheets. Use a pizza wheel or baker’s bench knife or other sharp straight-edge to cut the dough into ½" strips. Gently twist each strip (as though you were wringing out a towel), and place each strip on the prepared pan, leaving about ¾" between them. As you twist the strips, they stretch to about 10" long; for longer, thinner grissini, simply stretch them a bit more.

Tent the grissini with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow them to warm to room temperature and become a bit puffy; this will take about 3 hours. Near the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the grissini for 30 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and place them on a rack to cool completely. Serve plain or with almond-garlic dip, if desired. Yield: 40 grissini.

Almond-Garlic Dip
This dip seems way too smooth and creamy to be dairy-free… but it is!

2 thick slices white bread (4 ounces)*
3/4 to 1 cup (6 to 8 ounces) cold water
1 cup (4 ounces) blanched slivered almonds, toasted till golden brown in a 350°F  oven (about 16 minutes)
0 to 8 large, peeled garlic cloves, to taste
heaping 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (2 3/4 ounces) olive oil or garlic oil**
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

*This is a great use for stale baguettes.

**Use garlic oil, and no fresh garlic, for the mildest possible garlic flavor

Combine the bread and water, and soak till bread is soft. Place the bread, water, and remaining ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, and process till smooth. Serve with grissini; refrigerate any leftovers. Yield: about 1 3/4 cups dip.