Friday, April 20, 2007

Parmesan Grissini

Don’t they take a pretty picture?

These are from a book called ”Made in Italy Food & Stories” by Giorgio Locatelli. This is a beautiful book, you should take a look at it. This is the first thing that I have made from it, but I am quite sure there will be many more recipes from it in the future.

(makes about 25)
50g unsalted butter
200g whole milk
10g fresh yeast
375g strong white bread flour, or Italian “00” flour
3 generous tbsp grated parmesan
10g fine salt

Preheat the oven to 230
Melt the butter in a pan, add the milk and heat gently till it is warm to the touch, then whisk in the yeast.
Put the flour, Parmesan, and salt in a bowl, then add a little of the milk mixture at a time, mixing it well and kneading it.
Turn the dough on to a clean work surface, and dimple it with a method called “colomba”
Spread the dough out into a rough rectangle by pressing down with the tips of your fingers (like you would for a foccia), stretching and dimpling the dough at the same time, to create pockets of air that can be trapped. Fold the top third down to the center and dimple it lightly again, then fold up the bottom third over the top and dimple again, then turn the dough 45 degrees and repeat the process.
Cover with a damp tea towel and leave for 30 min.
Repeat the dimpling process, cover again, and leave for another 30 min
Cut the dough in half lengthways, flour your work surface and roll each piece out into a big rectangle. Cut the dough across it’s width into strips about 1 cm wide.
Roll each strip with your fingertips, starting at the center and moving outwards, stretching the dough slightly as you go. Press each end lightly with your thumb to make an “ear” shape, lay on a non-stick baking sheet, and leave to rest for 10 min.
Turn the oven down to 180c, and bake for 10-15 min until crisp and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

These were fun, and the boys loved them. The technique he uses really works, they came out really air-y and crispy. Some of them were rolled a little too thick, and those were a bit more bread-y in the middle (as opposed to breadstick-y), but they were all really nice.
It seems a little weird to me to make your own bread sticks, but I guess I just never thought about it. It’s kind of like making your own crackers, it just doesn’t occur to you. Still, I’m glad I tried these. I think that I would make these again too, now that I know how much fun homemade breadsticks are. Just not regularly.

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