Fennel and sesame seed breadsticks

Fennel and sesame seed breadsticks
  • Serves icon Makes about 30 sticks
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 10-13 min, plus proving

These homemade breadsticks can be made into soft or crispy sticks depending on your taste. They are great to serve at parties with a selection of dips.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
81kcals
Fat
2.4g (0.4g saturated)
Protein
1.9g
Carbohydrates
13.1g (0.4g sugars)
Fibre
0.8g
Salt
0.3g
Calories
81kcals
Fat
2.4g (0.4g saturated)
Protein
1.9g
Carbohydrates
13.1g (0.4g sugars)
Fibre
0.8g
Salt
0.3g

Per stick

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour,plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt, plus extra
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 10g fast-action yeast
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
  • 300ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp each fennel seeds and sesame seeds, plus extra for sprinkling
  • Uncooked polenta for rolling

Method

  1. Put the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and oil in a mixing bowl. Pour over the water and stir to combine, first with a palette knife, then with your hands to bring it into a dough. Add the fennel seeds and sesame seeds and briefly work into the dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes (or less time if using a stand mixer with a dough hook) until smooth and pliable.
  2. Sprinkle the work surface with a little polenta, roll out the dough thinly into a 25-30cm square, then cut the square in half. Cut each rectangle of dough into 1cm thick strips, briefly roll each one on the work surface to make cylindrical, then put on 2 large, lightly oiled baking sheets, leaving 2cm between them to allow for expansion. Once they’re all rolled into sticks, cover lightly with cling film and leave to prove for 15-20 minutes until slightly puffed (see make ahead).
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Once the breadsticks are puffed, scatter them with sea salt, and more sesame seeds and fennel seeds (see Tips) Bake for 10 minutes (for soft, more breadlike sticks) or 13 minutes (for crisp sticks). Take out of the oven and cool for 1-2 minutes on the trays, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. You can serve the cooked breadsticks immediately (or see make ahead).

Serve with baked vacherin mont do’r and calvados prune and bayonne ham skewers, as pictured.

delicious. tips

  1. In step 6, we suggest brushing the dough with water or milk to help the seeds stick.

  2. Make the dough the day before and keep wrapped in the fridge overnight. Roll out on a floured surface, then slice as in the recipe. The sticks may need to come to room temperature to prove properly, so leave for at least 45 minutes before you bake. The baked breadsticks will keep in airtight containers for up to 3 days (longer if you’ve cooked them until completely crisp). Warm through before serving if they’ve been made more than a day in advance.

    You can also freeze the cooked and cooled breadsticks, wrapped in baking paper and foil. Defrost, then warm through in the oven to serve.

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Read what others say...

  1. Cracking idea – who doesn’t love a grissini? However….. Remember when you’re cutting the strips to use a super sharp knife and make sure the board or work surface is covered in polenta – they will stick as you lift them up, stretching and making you sigh. I did the dough ‘sticks’ in two halves – one day after another as my baking trays were ‘ordinary’ for an ordinary oven and the cutting and rolling was a bit – well – dull…I’d also not advocate scattering fennel and sesame seeds over them before cooking – they are effectively a round surface with no ‘wash’ on them so there’s nothing for the seeds to stick to and they are just wasted on the pan. Lovely apart from that though!

    1. Thank you for your comments about the seeds, and the extra polenta on the work surface. We will amend the recipe to suggest brushing the dough with water or milk to help the seeds stick.

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