It’s cake club tonight (first rule about cake club….don’t talk about cake club) and we’re entirely ignoring the rules and taking bread. I’d toyed with Pierre Hermé’s pain d’épices but I have a house full of sweet things at the moment and my husband loves pain d’épices and I’d rather he got to enjoy it too. These grissini, on the other hand, are the kind of small sweet things that can be snacked on. We used to buy plain chocolate covered grissini for an extortionate amount of money at Carluccio’s over the Christmas period but haven’t been to one for ages.
Hot on the heels of the success of my “just like Carluccio’s” ciappe, I think I can confidently pull these off too. Of course, not happy to leave alone a perfectly good recipe, I put a bit of sugar and cinnamon in the dough and rolled the chocolate covered sticks in some sweet and salty chopped nuts.
I used walnut oil but the recipe for savoury grissini that I based this on had olive oil in it. I think you could use any oil you like but I fancied the nuttiness of the walnut oil. The original recipe also used 70g of pistachio dukkah instead of the sugar and cinnamon. If you’re making savoury grissini, they should be dusted in maize (semolina/polenta/cornmeal/etc) before they are put on the baking sheet.
You could also have these “undressed” with a pot of liquidy chocolate and chopped nuts or honey and pinenuts, just to name a couple of options.
- 450g bread flour (although I used some posh Italian ’00’ that I had kicking around)
- 1 sachet (7g) powdered yeast
- 50g sugar
- 60ml walnut oil
- 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
- 250ml (approx but add gradually) warm water
- 200mg melted chocolate (whatever type floats your boat)
- 200g chopped nuts (likewise)
1. Either chuck everything but the chocolate and nuts into a mixer and, using the dough hook, knead for 10 minutes or, make a well in all the dry ingredients (except the chocolate and nuts), put the oil and 3/4 of the warm water into the middle. Draw in the dry ingredients until they are mixed and then knead for 10 minutes, adding more warm water to get a relatively soft dough.
2. Put in an oiled bowl and cover (who am I kidding? like I ever do anything but just chuck it near a radiator in the mixing bowl.). Place in a warm place until doubled in size.
3. Preheat oven to 220°C.
4. Knead it to knock it back and then, on a floured surface, push it into a rectangular shape. Either cut into strips and leave as is or roll into round grissini (this depends how pretty you want them). Put them on trays and put back in a warm place for 20 minutes or so.
5. Lower the oven temperature to 200°C as you put them in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes or until the dark side of golden.
4. Dip in chocolate and then in nuts and leave to cool on a cake rack.