Just a quick scroll through my done list will show how much I like baking bread: there’s been sourdough (still not nailed this), baguettes, hot cross buns, and lots more. There’s something so satisfying and a bit magical about making bread out of just four ingredients and seeing it all come together in a smooth dough. I’m always learning new techniques and recipes, and today was no exception as I attended a virtual Italian bread course.
Bread Ahead, a London bakery, has also featured a lot on my blog before through trying some recipes from their Instagram Lives or making babka and challah on one of their online courses. It is with them that I signed up for the Italian bread course as I wanted to try some different techniques for focaccia and ciabatta (my favourite loaves to make), but I really wanted to give grissini, an Italian breadstick, a try.
I had such fun in the Zoom class, not only because I was learning about my favourite things, but because Manuel, our teacher, was so funny and engaging. He had a very dry sense of humour which I really appreciated, but he was also a lot more involved than the teacher in the previous course I’d had which could be because there were only 15 of us. He gave us a little history lesson on each loaf and imparted some great knowledge on how temperature can affect our dough even before it’s mixed. The making of the grissini was so simple, and Manuel was encouraging us to put them all in the oven at the same time. I fell a bit far behind, so when he came to check our results mine were still 10 minutes away from being done! I never did get to find out his verdict on my grissini, but I think they were pretty good.
I added rosemary in them but definitely could have added more, and I added a fair amount of polenta for extra crunch (as instructed to!). They were so tasty warm that I could have sat and eaten the whole bunch then and there, but I managed to resist and had some later on with some olive oil and some hummus – delicious.
They were so easy to make that I’ll definitely add them to my repertoire again. I’m quite curious if I can freeze them as they’re only really good the day you make them, and 12 long breadsticks are quite an effort to get through for 2 people! The next time I make any Italian feast, or really any good dip, I’ll absolutely be making these grissini to go with it.