Grissini are crisp bread sticks, originally from the area around Turin in northern Italy. They make a simple, tasty snack and are often served as a low-fuss appetiser with pre-dinner drinks. Grissini keep well and can be crisped in the oven if they become a little soft.
Large pinch of caster (superfine) sugar
150 ml (5 fl oz) lukewarm water
5 g ( 1/8 oz/1½ teaspoons) dried yeast
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
225 g (8 oz/1½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon salt
1. Combine the sugar and lukewarm water in a large bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and set aside for 5-6 minutes or until foamy. Stir in the olive oil. Add the flour and salt and use a wooden spoon to stir until a coarse dough forms.
2. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-6 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Lightly grease 2 baking trays with oil. Knock back the dough with just one punch to expel the air. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and use a rolling pin to roll out to a rough rectangle, about 22 x 34 cm (8½ x 13½ inches). Turn the dough so a long edge is facing you, then use a large, sharp knife to cut it widthways into 26 strips.
4. Use your hands to roll each strip into a thin log, about 26 cm (10½ inches) long. Some will be longer than others. Place on the greased trays and bake for 35 minutes or until golden and crisp. Transfer to wire racks to cool.