Breadsticks

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PRESENTATION

Breadsticks are the famous strands of crispy and elongated bread dough of Turin origin. Recognized and enjoyed all over the world, they are one of the most popular Italian gastronomic products abroad.

It's said that breadsticks were invented in Turin in the first half of the 1600s: in fact, they take their name from "gherssa", a typical Piedmontese bread with a shape similar to a French baguette.

The story goes that a doctor at the time recommended that the son of the Duke of Savoy, who suffered from intestinal disorders, stop eating poorly baked bread (and thus the soft inside of the bread) and eat only the crunchy stretched breadsticks. Eating these delicious elongated breadsticks, initially a privilege for the nobles only, soon spread to the entire population!

In this recipe we present the preparation of the Simili Sisters’ Turin breadsticks with small variations.

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for about 40 breadsticks
Water 1 ¼ cup (280 ml)
Fresh brewer's yeast 1 ½ tbsp (15 g)
Fine salt ½ tbsp (8 g)
Extra virgin olive oil ¼ tbsp (50 g)
Barley malt 1 tbsp
Semolina 1 tbsp
Flour 00 4 cups (500 g)
For brushing
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Breadsticks

To prepare the breadsticks, start by taking a little warm water from the 1.25 cups (280 ml) indicated and dissolve the brewer's yeast and malt 1. Place the remaining lukewarm water in another container and dissolve the salt 2. Place the sifted flour in a mixer bowl and add the mixture of water, yeast and malt 3, use the bread hook and

also add the oil that you have mixed with the water and salt 4. Knead until you obtain an elastic compound 5 and transfer onto a pastry board sprinkled with durum wheat flour. Shape the dough into a rectangle, brush it with extra virgin olive oil 6 and sprinkle it with durum wheat flour. Then let the dough rise until it has doubled in volume.

After the time needed for rising (about 1 h), with a long, smooth bladed knife cut the dough on the short side into strips of about 1/2 in. (1 cm) each 7. Take each strip of dough with both hands at both ends and pull it until it reaches the length of the baking tray you will use to bake it on 8. Place the breadsticks well apart on a baking tray lined with baking paper 9 and bake them at 400° F (200°C) for about 20 minutes until they begin to brown.
If they don't look perfect, don't worry, that's what's special about them. The thinner parts of the breadstick will be crunchy and the thicker parts will be a little softer, so if you want to prepare even more inviting and delicious breadsticks before baking them, brush them with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle them with poppy seeds or sesame seeds!

Storage

Store the breadsticks at room temperature, ideally in a paper bag, for 2-3 days at most.

Tips

If you want, you can mix the sesame or poppy seeds directly into the dough: you will have to divide it into as many rectangles as you want to make and knead them quickly to incorporate the seeds inside, then proceed with the rising according to the times indicated in the recipe. As an alternative to malt, you can use the same amount of sugar.