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Mar 10, 2013

Spicy Parmesan and Herb Grissini

Spicy Parmesan and Herb Grissini

These super skinny and crispy pieces of straw colored goodness are completely addicting. The ingredient list includes parmesan, black pepper, white pepper, garlic, chives, rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano. My biggest issue with them is that I can't leave them alone. They are crazy good.

Don't you think these would look fabulous at your cocktail party? I promise you, they will be gone in about 15 minutes.

Spicy Parmesan and Herb Grissini

The first time I made these, I did not thoroughly read the recipe, and half way through, realized that it called for a pasta maker, which I did not have. I made do with a rolling pin and a pizza cutter. They were good, but the crisping stage took quite a while longer, and the thicker ones were a little too hard.

The next day I ordered a Pasta Maker ... Why not? Am I the only person who buys a pasta maker just to make breadsticks? Someday I'll attempt pasta... In the meantime, I'd like to pause and admire my breadstick making toy (the mess is corn meal, more about that later).

Check out these super skinny pieces of dough created by running the dough through the machine.

It's your call as to what herbs you add to this dough. We have a little "farm" of herbs in pots so I went out and grabbed a handful of rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, and chives and chopped them up together and added them to the dough.

This recipe is adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Bread Bible published in 2003. This was the first recipe I made from this book. The book has an extensive instructional section on all things bread, including developing your own recipes, and, of course, equipment.

The dough is made 6 to 12 hours in advance of making the grissini, so plan for that extra time. I made my dough the night before, and cut and baked the breadsticks the next morning.

Spicy Parmesan and Herb Grissini


351 g (2 1/4 C) bread flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper (or substitute more black pepper)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
20 g (1/2 C loosely packed) freshly grated (not the canned stuff) parmesan cheese
7 g (2 T) minced fresh herbs such as rosemary, chives, thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, and/or dill
1/2 tsp Tabasco (I also added a squirt of Sriracha along with the Tabasco)
1 C water
Olive oil
Fine sea salt


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the flour, yeast, salt, peppers, garlic powder, parmesan, herbs, and Tabasco. 
  • Add the water and stir with a large spoon or a dough whisk.
  • Move the bowl to the mixer and knead with the dough hook (can also be kneaded by hand) until the dough comes together and clears the sides of the bowl.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and hand knead a couple of times, adding more flour if it is too sticky. 
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, spray with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours. 
  • After an hour or two, if the dough has risen, push it back down. Mine did not rise at all. 
  • After 6 to 12 hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, place a rack in the middle of the oven, line two baking sheets (I use two so I can prepare the next baking sheet while the first is in the oven) with parchment, and sprinkle them with corn meal.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and divide it into four equal pieces. 
  • Place three of the pieces back in the refrigerator (covered) and flatten the piece you kept out on a counter sprinkled with corn meal. 
  • Pass the dough through the pasta machine on the widest setting. Place the dough back on the cornmeal sprinkled counter and flip in over a couple of times. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to dry a tiny bit.
  • Run the dough through the fettuccine cutter of the pasta machine and toss the noodles in cornmeal (thus the mess in the photo above). Separate the strands and place them lengthwise on the baking sheet. Do not stretch the strands. If they are too long, trim them to fit the pan. 
  • Brush the strands with olive oil, sprinkle with more cornmeal, and sprinkle lightly with the sea salt. 
  • Bake for 12 to 16 minutes until golden and the ends slightly lift up. Do not allow to get too dark. 
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • While the first sheet is baking, begin preparing the second batch. Repeat with the next three dough pieces. There is no need to replace the parchment. 
  • Once all of the dough is baked, turn off the oven, and place the wire racks in the baking sheets. Place the sheets back in the oven and allow the breadsticks to crisp for about an hour. I turned my oven to 100 degrees F with the convection mode on for the last 15 minutes. 
  • Enjoy!
Store in an airtight container. 

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Lengthy procedure..yet interesting recipe..

    1. Hi Dipti! It's kind of lengthy, but easier than you might think once you get the hang of it. You can do two sheets at a time, but I like to do one at a time. I guess you could compare it to baking cookies one sheet at a time.

  2. I love these - they're so beautiful! I want to devour those photos. I do stuff like that, too (buy a certain tool for one reason) - you'll end up getting plenty of use out of it, I'm sure. I've had a pasta maker on my "list" for ages. Hmmm...maybe giving these grissini a try by hand will push me to the brink ;P.

  3. Karen, These look delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'm sure that they are best eaten the same day but do they keep well for a few days? You are definitely not the only one that would buy a pasta maker to make breadsticks :)

    1. Actually, if you keep them in an airtight container, they last a few days. I had to break them in half to store them though because I don't have an 18 inch container. Something new I "need."

  4. I never think to make these and I love crispy bread sticks!

  5. I am so excited! I stupidly thought, how would I cut these? A pasta maker is brilliant. My little one loves to make pasta. She is going to be so excited to add these to her repertoire.

  6. These look so fantastic! I've never made grissini but reeeeeeally want to now!

  7. Can't wait to try these! I have a pasta maker for my KitchenAid mixer that I have lnever used so this is the first thing I'm making with it. Thanks

    1. Thank you! I have only used my pasta maker for bread sticks. I keep intending to use it for pasta but it hasn't happened yet.


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