Thin 'n' Crunchy Italian Breadsticks

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Thin 'n' Crunchy Italian Breadsticks

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Published prior to 2008

Known as grissini in their native land, these light-as-air breadsticks are a delightful accompaniment to an Italian meal. Or serve them as hors d’oeuvres, with or without a bowl of seasoned olive oil for dipping.

Follow our step-by-step photos for making these bread sticks at our blog, Flourish.

2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon Pizza Dough Flavor (optional,  but tasty)
1 tablespoon King Arthur Easy-Roll Dough  Improver OR Baker's Special Dry Milk OR nonfat dry milk
3 cups (11 ounces) King Arthur Italian-Style Flour*
3/4 cup (6 ounces) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) olive oil

1 egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
heaping 1/3 cup sesame seeds, or a mixture of your favorite seeds

*Substitute King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour for half of the Italian flour, if desired.

Mix and knead the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, supple dough. Divide the dough in half, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let it rest and relax for 15 minutes (or for up to an hour or so; work it into your schedule as you see fit).

Working with one half of the dough at a time, pat or roll it into a 9" x 13" rectangle. Brush the dough lightly with the egg white and water, and sprinkle it with the seeds. Roll the dough lightly with a rolling pin to press the seeds in.

Use a pizza wheel or sharp knife to cut the dough (the short way) into strips about 3/8" wide. Twist the ends of each strip in opposite directions (as though you were wringing out a washcloth) to make a "twist," and place them on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover the breadsticks and let them rest and rise for 30 to 60 minutes, till they’ve puffed noticeably. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Bake the breadsticks for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Remove them form the oven, and cool on a rack.
Yield: about 3 dozen breadsticks.


  • star rating 02/26/2012
  • Jerry from Rochester, NY
  • definitely needs more liquid than called for in the recipe. also did two adjustments: made the yeast starter with the yeast and sugar and some warm water and added it to the dry ingredients after it started to work. AND replaced 1/2 of the liquid with a dark Belgian beer. What a great flavor!
  • star rating 01/20/2012
  • Erin from Seattle. WA
  • I generally hold back somewhat adding the flour so I can gauge how much the dough needs, but, wow, there was really not enough liquid. I added 1/4 cup I think, and the dough was definitely soft and supple, but not as sticky as the Bakers' Banter photo of it. Also, it would be more helpful to state the ideal thickness in rolling out the dough rather than just the dimensions. I wasn't sure if I had the right thickness. For the topping I used some of my homemade dukkah (North African spice mix). Everything bagel topping sounds like it would be delicious as well. The finished product was light and crispy just as the recipe promised. So given my uncertainty about the amount of water and thickness of the dough, it seems like this recipe is pretty forgiving. The breadsticks also make for a very nice presentation on the dinner table. I will definitely make them again in the future.
  • star rating 12/11/2011
  • Heidi from Greece
  • I've just made these for dipping at our Christmas party and they are absolutely beautiful to look at. The recipe appears to say that we divide the dough twice, before putting to rise the first time and again after the first rise. I just divided it after the first rise, but I divided it into 4 pieces to make 4 types. I did plain, white & black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and rosemary & flake salt. I made them shorter than the recipe suggests because I found they lengthen considerably when twisted, and I was able to get a lot of breadsticks out of this recipe. Nevertheless, when I make it again (which I certainly will), I'll probably double it. Next time I'll probably use the Everything Bagel Topping on them. I only didn't this time because I'm a selfish woman who doesn't want to share my E.B.T. - it's too delicious! Thanks for another great recipe!
  • star rating 01/05/2009
  • from
  • Needs more water, appr. 1/8 cup.