Sourdough Discard Grissini (Crispy Breadsticks)

Grissini don’t last long in my house because they’re a tad addictive and perfect for snacking on or adding to a meal such as soup or pasta dishes. They’re very crispy and crunchy and you can season them a million ways, add seeds, and recently I started getting fancy with curled ends. The cool rustic look somehow also makes them look elegant and striking when displayed. They’re extra long (the length of the long side of a cookie sheet), and this recipe has the bonus of helping to use up some of that sourdough starter discard you’ve got building up in your fridge. You might first make these because they look so cool, but you’ll quickly find that they’re easy and irresistible.

Photos of process after the recipe…

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2.5 cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup sourdough starter discard
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 T + 2 t olive oil

For seasoning

  • seeds, salt, pepper, or other seasonings per preference
  • olive oil

Instructions

Note the photos of the process below the instructions.

  1. Combine all dough ingredients in a medium-large mixing bowl, using a dough whisk or a wooden spoon, until they come together.
  2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface (I use a large wood cutting board) and knead (fold, press with your palm, turn halfway, repeat), adding a bit more flour as needed, until dough is just a little sticky.
  3. Form the dough into a ball. Place it into a lightly oiled bowl (I use olive oil spray). Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rest for two hours, lifting and folding two to three times every forty minutes, but not at the end.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 3 or 4 even pieces. Cover the ones that you are not working with at the moment with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
  5. Work the dough by pressing (like a pizza crust) out into a 12″ rectangle (see photos below).
  6. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and at this time you can also get creative with seasoning and seeds. Try dill and garlic or mixed sesame and poppy seeds, try any seasoning salt, or even blends like rubs. Rosemary and garlic with white sesame seeds…experiment with different combinations on each rectangle.
  7. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a pizza cutter, or a dough scraper, or knife to cut into even-ish strips. Lift each strip of dough up at the ends, gently stretching to the length of a baking sheet. If your dough is a little on the thin side, fold each strip in half and twist as you stretch it out the length of the cookie sheet. These are very forgiving so experimenting with what works for you is encouraged.
  8. Line the strips up on a prepared sheet. They can be very close together because they will not poof up like a soft breadstick.
  9. Repeat with remaining portions of dough, allowing the formed grissini lined up on trays to sit at room temperature while the sheet before it bakes (depending on how many you can fit in the oven at a time). If you feel adventurous curl the ends.
  10. Slide a tray (or two) into the oven and bake for 23-27 minutes, or until brown and crisp. After you figure out what works in your oven, remember that for the remaining trays.
  11. Remove from the oven and slide onto a wire rack to cool. Repeat until all grissini are baked.

These can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature, but I always end up placing them in a tall glass or vase, like a flower arrangement for the middle of my kitchen table. That might explain why they’re gone within 48 hours!

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