Crispy Italian Breadsticks

  

The first time I tried breadsticks, it was in Rome, Italy. That was more than ten years ago now (thirteen? fourteen?) when I went to Europe for my first time with the guy. We were there the day on Christmas eve and it was crowded everywhere. I recall being quite tired and happily sat down on one of the impressive columns right outside St. Peter’s Basilica and settling my lunch there. Yes, with a huge box of Italian breadsticks. It was crunchy and fragrant, but probably not to best thing to savour on a cold winter day.

It’s interesting how certain food could bring back unique memories like this. Everytime I see breadsticks, I never fail to have this specific part of my memory resurface, even if it’s just for that inkling of a second. It makes you feel like taking the plane all the way back to Rome just so you could savour the unique taste of breadsticks in Rome.

Eating breadsticks here at home will never get me that same experience ever, but it is the next best option for me, for now, before I save up to have enough for the next trip there!

Ingredients:

  • Active dry yeast: 1/2 pack (about 3.5g, 2 tsp)
  • Warm water: 300ml
  • Sugar: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Olive oil: 1 tbsp + extra for brushing
  • Olive: 20g (finely chopped)
  • Plain flour: 500g + extra for kneading

Method:

  1. Mix yeast with warm water amd sugar. Leave for 10min.
  2. Mix in salt, olive oil, olives and plain flour. Knead with dough hook till they come together.
  3. Place dough on a floured surface. Knead for another 5min.
  4. Gather into a ball. Brush top with olive oil and sprinkle with flour.
  5. Leave to proof for 1hr.
  6. Preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
  7. Slice the dough into small chunks. Roll out into 35cm long sticks. Place apart from each other on greased parchment paper.
  8. Bake 15min till golden brown.

Trick:

  • Serve the breadsticks with some prosciuttos to wrap around them and eat them just like the locals do.

Disclaimer:

  • This recipe was kindly adapted from ‘Brot Backen’ (published by Backlust). It’s been almost five Christmases since I last baked the Lucky Piglet Pastries for Christmas, both of which came from the same recipe book. Gosh, I do miss them a lot!

Serving:
About 80 sticks

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