If you’ve ever been to a trattoria or pizzeria in Italy, then you know grissini, the super-thin breadsticks in paper wrappers that are on the table when you sit down. Crunchy and cartoonishly long, they are the perfect thing to nibble on with your first glass of vino rosso.
These grissini are a mashup of the skinny Italian breadstick with one of my favorite flavors of France, buckwheat, used for making savory crêpes. I came across a grissini recipe in Bon Appetit not long ago and it called for very little buckwheat to regular flour– a scant 1/4 cup — along with nearly 2 cups of Parmesan, which just seemed weird.
I wanted the buckwheat to dominate, and I also wanted these to be as crisp as possible, so I omitted the Parmesan, upped the buckwheat to an equal amount with regular flour, and tweaked and changed the rest of the recipe around a bit. So what we’ve got here is a very buckwheat-y grissini, just as I’d hoped for.
The dough is made with yeast, so there’s some down time while waiting for it to rise — or you can do what I did and make the dough one day and put it in the fridge and make the grissini the next day. Once baked off, these keep well in a plastic bag in the freezer, so when you’re ready to another bottle of Champagne, these are ready, too.
Makes about 40
- 1 package active dry yeast
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for brushing the grissini
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup white sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup black sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- fleur de sel
- Put the first 5 ingredients in your mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook attachment. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes, or until foamy. Add your flours and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Put some olive oil in a medium bowl, add the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a draft-free warm spot for 1 1/2 hours or put it in the fridge overnight to rise.
- When ready to make the grissini, preheat the oven to 375°F and put the seeds in a large baking sheet. Stir the seeds around so they’re combined. Line 2 more large baking sheets with parchment.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into an 8-inch by 4-inch rectangle. Cut in half. With each half, cutting on the short rather than long way, make 20 1/4-inch pieces of dough. Working one piece at a time, put the piece of dough in the baking sheet with the seeds, and roll it around so the seeds stick, gently twisting the dough as you do so — this will elongate the dough easily. Put the dough onto the baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough pieces. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bottoms are brown — this will ensure crispness. Store in a plastic bag or freeze the grissini to eat later.