By: The Local Palate
Grissini on a sheet pan, ready to be baked

Chef Steve McHugh of Cured in San Antonio, Texas shares this fun recipe for Grissini. He says, “Grissini are like dressed-up breadsticks. I’ve made some suggestions, but you can really go nuts with the toppings. You could even go sweet with these”!

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Makes 3 dozen breadsticks

    For the yeast dough
  • Makes 1½ pounds dough
  • 1 packet (¼ ounce/2¼ teaspoons)
  • active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm but not hot water, about 110°F
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup ½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • For the grissini
  • 1 yeast dough recipe
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • ½ cup toppings of your choosing: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sea salt, dried minced garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh cut herbs, chopped olives, or a combination

Make the Yeast Dough

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl. Let sit until small bubbles form on the surface, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until steaming (do not allow to boil). Remove from the heat and add the butter, sugar, and salt. Stir until the butter has melted.
  3. Add the milk mixture, the yeast mixture, and 1 cup of the flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer speed up to medium and mix for 5 additional minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer, place it in a warm part of the kitchen, and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Let rise until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

  4. Once the dough has doubled in size, reattach the bowl to the stand mixer, this time with the dough hook attached. Add the egg yolks and whole egg. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add the remaining 1½ cups flour, a few tablespoons at a time, until a dough forms and it is light and soft (you may have to scrape the sides down with a rubber spatula a couple of times to achieve this). If the dough has not come together yet, add a few more tablespoons of flour, one at a time, until it comes together on the hook and looks less soupy.

  5. Knead the dough on medium-low speed until it is smooth and compact, 6 to 8 minutes. Knead briefly by hand in the bowl to form the dough into a ball.
  6. If you’re planning on freezing the dough, form it into a 1-inch-thick disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place this in a resealable plastic bag and freeze until needed. To thaw, refrigerate overnight. The dough will last 1 month in the freezer.

Make the Grissini

  1. If you are working with frozen dough, thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator. If you’re starting with fresh dough, begin with step 2.
  2. Roll the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover it with a towel and place it in the warmest part of the kitchen until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
  3. Heat the oven to 425°F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and spray them lightly with cooking spray.
  4. Punch down the dough and place it on a floured work surface. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Roll half the dough into a ½-inch-thick rectangle about 8 inches by 12 inches.
  6. Beat the egg white with the cold water and brush this mixture on top of the dough.
  7. Sprinkle the dough with half the desired toppings and use a rolling pin to gently press them into the surface of the dough.
  8. Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 8-inch-long strips roughly ½ inch wide. Lay the strips on a prepared sheet pan about ½ inch apart. Pick up one end of the grissini and twist it four or five times as shown in the photo.
  9. Repeat steps 4 to 8 with the remaining dough. Let the grissini rest for 20 minutes at room temperature before baking.
  10. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before eating.
  • Adapted from
    ​​Reprinted with permission from Cured by Steve McHugh & Paula Forbes, copyright © 2024. Photographs by Denny Culbert. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
  • Contributing City
    San Antonio

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