May 16, 2010

Some time ago, Michele and I talked about making grissini. Before she brought up the idea of making them, I knew what they were but didn’t know they were called grissini. I just called them “thin breadsticks,” or “those good breadsticks you sometimes get at an Italian restaurant.” Now I’m in-the-know about the name and have made them myself!

Michele and I made different recipes, which I like because then I can see how hers turned out and get ideas for next time. I was doing some catch-up on my blog reading Saturday morning and saw that Kayte and Margaret also made grissini recently! I think everyone else added some flavorings to theirs; I was in the mood for a basic breadstick, so I just sprinkled some kosher salt on mine.

My recipe was a bit different because it uses a pasta maker to roll and cut the dough. I haven’t pulled out my pasta maker in years, so it was fun to use this method and re-acquaint myself with that under-used piece of equipment. The dough was easy to handle, but it was pretty fussy to lay out each strip of dough on the baking sheet.

I made hummus earlier in the day because I thought these would be great for dipping. Actually, they’re so thin and crisp that they’re not good dippers, but they are awesome on their own. I munched through quite a few of them and really enjoyed them. The only problem is that they’re so tall that they don’t fit in any of my containers or bags! I ended up putting them in a plastic container and covering the top with plastic wrap. Be sure to check Michele’s blog to read about her grissini experience!

Recipe notes

The recipe comes from a professional cookbook, so I had to reduce the amount. The full amount makes 8lb 8oz/3.86kg of dough. I made 1/8 of that amount. I didn’t count my breadsticks, but I think I baked six sheets of them (my baking sheets are pretty small though). I don’t guarantee my math, but my calculations worked out for me – I didn’t worry too much about rounding the tenths and hundredths of a gram because it’s such a small amount.


adapted from Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft, The Culinary Institute of America*

Ingredient Baker’s % Pounds g/kg 1/8 amount
High-gluten flour 100% 5 lb 2.27 kg 283 g
Instant yeast 1.66% 1.25 oz 35 g 4 g
Whole milk, room temperature 45% 36 fl oz 1.08 L 4.5 fl oz
Butter, soft 15% 12 oz 340 g 42 g
Olive oil 3.75% 3 oz 85 g 10 g
Salt 2.5% 2 oz 57 g 7 g
Malt Syrup 1.9% 1.5 oz 43 g 5 g

Optional garnishes: coarse salt, poppy seeds, sesame seeds

Make the dough

  1. Combine the flour and yeast. Add the milk, butter, olive oil, salt, and malt syrup. In a stand mixer using a dough hook, mix on on low speed for 4 minutes and on medium speed for 3 minutes. The dough should be very stiff. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.

Shape and bake

  1. Line sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle 12 inches long and the width of the rollers of the pasta machine. Trim one short edge to even it; feed this edge into the pasta machine.
  3. Starting with the rollers at the widest opening and resetting them to the next setting after each complete pass, roll the dough through the pasta machine until it is the desired thickness, about 1/4in/6mm, or setting number 5 on most pasta machines. (I rolled it through twice on each setting, ending with number 5.)
  4. Using the fettuccine cutter attachment or cutting by hand, cut the dough lengthwise into strips 1/4in/6mm wide. Lay the strips on the parchment-lined sheet pans, making sure they do not touch. Brush the strips lightly with olive oil.
  5. Cover and proof until the dough rises slightly, about 15 minutes. Brush lightly again with olive oil and scatter any optional garnishes on top.
  6. Bake at 385 F/196 C until the grissini are golden brown. Start checking at 5 minutes (mine took 6-7 minutes). Cool completely on racks.

* See the note above the recipe about the amounts. I have the 2004 edition of this book; the newest version is from 2009.


  1. Yours look really great, I love that glass you used for them, just perfect to show them off. Such fun to think of you making these when you commented on my blog. Fun cooking along with others that enjoy the same things.

  2. Thanks for baking along with me! I think your grissini look so delicious and I love that you used a pasta machine to roll the dough. I am amazed at how thin and crispy you were able to make yours. I definitely want to try this recipe (as soon as I can find all the parts to my pasta machine!).

  3. I cannot believe you made these! They look great. Awesome job!!

  4. Love the idea of using a pasta maker. Gotta try these.

  5. What a beautiful photo of your grissini! I love these, and with you providing the weights for your 1/8th of the recipe (thanks!) I’m going to give them a try soon.

  6. I have wanted to make grissini for a long time now. your post is even more inspiration!

  7. Wow!! I am impressed. I would never have thought you could make grissini at home. I owned a pasta machine for 4 years before using it – and I hasve now used it twice. Perhaps this is an incentive to wheel it out again!

  8. Bravo to you. These look delicious! I’ve never used my pasta maker. This might be a good excuse.

  9. Those look wonderful! I love the picture in the tall glass.

  10. These look absolutely amazing! I recently heard or read something about wrapping prosciutto around grissini and I had no idea what they meant! Thank you for educating me!!!!:)

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