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Grissini Stirati - Stretched Breadsticks

Monday, April 25, 2011
Stretched Breadsticks

My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get".
(T. Hanks, Forrest Gump)

Let me add, life is also like a stretched breadstick, crunchy and soft, you never know what's in for you at the next bite.
Forget the chocolate; today breadsticks - whether stretched or chubby - are, for me, the real ode to life, my New Age metaphor, the smell and memory of everything that's good in the world.
That's all I have to say about that.

Stretched Breadsticks
for 30 breadsticks approx. 16" long

type O flour 500 gr
lukewarm water 250-280 gr
fresh yeast 15 gr
salt 8 gr (one full teaspoon)
olive oil 50 gr
barley malt 1 scant teaspoon
semolina flour, olive oil for brushing as needed

The peculiarity of these breadsticks, pulled strictly by hand, is that they're very irregular: the thinnest pieces cook quickly and become crunchy, while the thicker parts stay rather soft. Every bite is a surprise.
The recipe, which I'm copying literally, is not my own work, but it comes again from the Simili sisters' book, which one can never exploit enough.
May the bread be with me until yeast last.

Make a well in the middle, mix all ingredients and knead for 8-10 minutes. Dough should not be too soft.
Shape it into a loaf and make a rectangle about 4x12 inches out of it; keeping the shape as regular as possible, place it on a layer of semolina flour and coat the surface and the sides thoroughly with olive oil, and then sprinkle with more semolina.
Cover with a bowl and let it rise for 50-60 minutes. With a chef's knife or a large spatula, cut from the short side pieces of dough about 3/4" thick; without shaking it too much, grab each piece in the middle with your fingers, and stretch it out by pulling gently and moving your fingers towards the edges as the piece gets thinner.
Place the breadsticks on a baking sheet a little apart and adjust their thickness with the fingers to even it out. If you've used too much dough and the breadstick is too long, cut out the edge part, and bake the piece as it is because it can't be kneaded twice. Place immediately in the oven and bake at 390 for 18-20 minutes.

Stretced Breadsticks

Hello. My name's Forrest, Forrest Gump. You want a chocolate grissino?
andieclark said... [Reply to comment]

As a cook in the caterers in New York, I find your stretched breadsticks recipe so interesting. This would be perfect for appetizers and pasta.

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