Bread Machine Grissini (Italian Breadsticks)

Sunday March 20, 2016

Grissini is the Italian word for breadsticks.  After making the dough and letting it rise in the bread machine, they are hand shaped by rolling the dough out to a desired length and then baked at a high temperature in an oven.  They look very different than machine extruded breadsticks which all look exactly alike; they are charmingly nobby and irregular.  You want to bake these until they are crisp, otherwise, if they are soft like bread, they will bend and break when you stand them in a crock to serve.  If you are unsure about free forming, use a bread stick tray, which is a series of very thin cradles.  Eat as an appetizer buffet, eaten either plain with butter, or wrapped with smoked turkey or proscuitto.

Makes 24 grissini


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • About 1/2 cup additional olive oil, for dipping
  • About 1 1/4 cups semolina flour, for sprinkling and rolling


  1. Place all the dough ingredients in the pan according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Program for the Dough cycle; press Start.
  2. Dust a work surface with semolina flour.  When the cycle ends at the beep, remove the dough from the machine and pat the dough into a thick 12-by-6-inch rectangle without kneading or overworking the dough.  You can leave this to rise on the work surface, especially if it is a marble slab, or transfer it to an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet that is also dusted with semolina flour.  Brush the top with olive oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425º, lining the center rack with a baking stone.  Brush 2 heavy 11-by-17-inch baking sheets with olive oil.  Place the additional olive oil and semolina flour in two shallow bowls.
  4.      portioning the dough before shaping the individual grissini by hand

    portioning the dough before shaping the individual grissini by hand

    Press the dough all over to gently deflate and turn out of the pan onto a floured work surface.  Using a pastry or pizza wheel, cut the dough into four equal sections lengthwise; the dough will deflate a bit more.  Cut each section into 6 thick strips lengthwise.

  5. Pick up each end of each strip and stretch to the desired shape or quickly roll out each strip with your palms, stretching from the center out to the ends, to a size that will fit your baking sheet.  Dip each strip in the olive oil and then roll in semolina flour.  Place the strips evenly spaced apart on oiled baking sheets. Each sheet will hold 10 to 12 grissini.  Bake each sheet in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp.  Transfer from the pan to cool on racks.

the stretch/photo courtesy of sarabeth kitchen

Excerpted from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2000, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2013

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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