Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Various Spelt Grissini

Ahh! TESTS AND ESSAYS!  Ok ok I'm going to try really hard to do two more posts (including this one) so I can get 15 per month as planned (unlike January, oops). 

Ok. Grissini! Let me tell you the history behind these little Italian bread sticks - the story is the king has asked the baker of the town to make something that won't go off so quickly, for the soldiers in the army, so he invented bread sticks which last for ages! Well, relatively.

I made these for my friend, Lucia, who adores these.  I just went to her place for dinner last night - oh she made so much, as all Italians would when they have guests over.  She made delicious arancini.  I ate so much that I woke up full, you ever have that?

Oh and by the way, what do you do with the oil left from deep-frying?  How do you dispose it?

Anyway - easy and cheaper than store bought. Especially here since you can only find them in the expensive Italian deli with the mean lady. 

I used white spelt flour and whole wheat flour for this, but feel free to experiment with different flours. 

Ok. I'm going to bed. Waking up at 7 to do more work. Blah. I don't like being a student.  I wish I could just cook.

250g spelt flour
100g strong whole wheat flour (the combination of flours here
200g water
1 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil + more for greasing and brushing
1 tsp sugar

In a bowl, pour in the water, yeast and sugar.  Leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes until frothy.

Add the flour, salt, and olive oil, and mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes a dough.  Put out on a surface and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic - 5-10 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, put the dough inside.  Cover with a towel and leave to proof in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 180C.  Line a large baking tray with grease-proof paper. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.  Cover the other three pieces while you work on your first piece. 

Roll into a rectangle of about 15cm wide.  Cut into thin strips of about 3 cm.  Then roll up each strip up like a snail and then roll into a skinny stick.  Do the same with the rest and place them on the greased baking tray (like 1.5cm apart from each other).

Brush each with olive oil, sprinkle with desired topping - I've tried chopped pistachios, sea salt flakes, oregano and fennel seeds.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until slightly golden. 

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