I once tested every recipe in an enormous Hors D’Oeuvres handbook that was being published by Martha Stewart Living. I was an intern at Martha Stewart Living magazine, and the project took months, for there were hundreds of recipes. I learned a lot during that period…such as how I will NEVER make soup dumplings at home, how I LOVE thin, crispy pizza stuffed with Robiola cheese and truffle oil, and how ridiculously easy it is to make breadsticks.
I didn’t make breadsticks for years after that project, not because I didn’t like them, but because there were so many other recipes to be made – hundreds of them at Martha Stewart Living, and hundreds more since I left the magazine. But recently when I wanted something crisp, salty and savory to go with white bean dip, I knew thin grissini were the ticket. I pepped up a quick bread dough with the addition of orange zest and fresh rosemary, but feel free to use your favorite combination – I also love lemon and thyme. Or just keep it simple with salt and black pepper.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
- 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Flaky sea salt
- Heat oven to 375°. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, rosemary and orange zest in the bowl of a food processor. Add olive oil and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, gradually add between 3/4 and 1 cup ice water until the dough comes together, about 1 minute.
- Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until the mixture forms a dough that is shiny and elastic. Roll out the dough into a rectangle shape roughly 8-by-11-inches. Cut the dough crosswise into 1/4-inch thick strips. Rolling gently with your fingertips and palms, shape the dough into long thin strips (14-17 inches long).
- Transfer the sticks to two baking sheets, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Gently press the ends of the breadsticks into the baking sheet to keep them straight while they are baking. Bake until crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days (if they last that long!).