Breadsticks never go out of favor and may be peeking at an all-time popularity. Long, thin ones known as grissini; short, stubby ones kown as francesina; soft ones; or crips ones. Breadsticks can be made from pretty much any bread dough. The question is, do you want them soft or crips, long or short?

  • For soft breadsticks; you can use French bread dough.
  • For soft breadsticks, bake hotter, at 400°F to 425°F, until the sticks turn golden brown, then immediately remove them from the oven. They soften as they cool.
  • For crisp breadsticks; you can use bagel or lavash dough.
  • To drive off the moisture for crisp breadsticks, bake them for a long time at low temperatures, 325°F to 350°F, until dry and crisp.

There are two ways to shape breadsticks:

  • Roll out each individual stick, rolling them like strands to the desired length,laying them out on a pan, proofing, and then baking. This is great when you want each stick to be unique and distinctive,but it is time consuming to make a lot of them. The breadsticks on the photo is done following this method.
  • Roll out the dough to the desired thickness, and then cut off individual sticks with a pizza cutter.

To seed the breadsticks, you can brush or mist the pan of breadsticks with water and then sprinkle the seeds over the top just before baking them. Sesame, poppy seeds, fennel, caraway, cumin, anise seeds, sea salt, paprika, garlic salt, coarsely ground black pepper, and so on…

Source: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

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