These Turin-style breadsticks are smooth with a soft interior. We’ve brushed ours with melted butter and herbs for an irresistible snack!
The breadstick conundrum. I don’t know quite ‘when’ it happened or how all I am certain of is that it ‘did’ – and I’m not sure there is a remedy. What was once culinary heresy has become orthodoxy, and it seems to have happened without anyone even noticing the change.
I’m talking about the seemingly abrupt and near total conversion of the phrase ‘breadstick,’ and how it today conjures images of what I can only recognize as ‘individual baguettes’ as opposed to the finger-thin or even pencil-thin ‘loaves’ of years gone by. Indeed, when Duke Amedeo of Savoy wrote of his love for ‘bone thin loaves’ in the late-1600s, which is among the first historical mentions of ‘breadsticks,’ he was talking about the slender loaves popularized in the then small town of Turin. Even today, the city is noteworthy for this yard-long, pencil-thin breadsticks placed on display in the windows of their heritage-protected bakeries.
This change in style has led some to call the new breadsticks ‘American Breadsticks.’ Perhaps fittingly, ‘American Breadsticks’ are described as being “plumper, greasier, and typically more seasoned than their traditional Italian counterparts, which tend towards slenderer, plainer ‘sticks’ as opposed to miniature ‘loaves.’”
Naturally, it was with that in mind that I decided to prepare a batch of ‘traditional’ breadsticks, the sort of breadstick that used to be popular here in New York made famous by Arthur Avenue bakeries, or that were served in the breadbaskets of old-school local Italian restaurants – Turin-style Breadsticks.
To start things off, we mix together flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in the amounts listed below in a large bowl or stand mixer, and mix until it is well combined.
Now, add in the oil and the hot water, and mix on slow for about two minutes. Once this is done, add in a half cup of flour, and continue to mix for another minute or two.
After that’s done, add in your final one and a half cups of flour, and mix until you have a soft dough.
Work the dough into a smooth ball, then divide it into 20 slices, and roll each slice into a long strip or ‘rope.’ Arrange the breadsticks on a parchment lined baking sheet and let them rest for about fifteen minutes.
Bake the breadsticks at a low temperature until they are golden. Finally, I topped the breadsticks off with an herbed butter and oil mixture that is brushed over them while they were hot and fresh out of the oven.
Italian Style Breadsticks
- Prep Time: 12 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 32 minutes
- Yield: 20 breadsticks 1x
- 2 1/2 cups AP flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups hot water (about 120 degrees F.)
Herbed Butter & Oil:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In the bowl of your mix master with the dough hook attachment, combine ½ cup flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. On low speed, mix together then add the oil and hot water.
- Add another ½ cup flour and beat the mixture on high speed until incorporated.
- Add the remaining 1½ cups of flour, beating on low speed until a soft dough comes together and pulls at the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and shape into a smooth log. Slice the log into about 20 pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough out into ½-inch thick ropes. Carefully place the ropes on parchment lined baking sheets and let the dough rest for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 320 degrees F. Bake the breadsticks until lightly golden.
- For the herbed butter and oil mixture, melt the butter and whisk together with the oil, herbs, and spices. Brush this over the breadsticks while they are still hot from the oven.
- Serve immediately. Can be stored in an airtight container or freezer back for up to 5 days.
- Serving Size: 1
These breadsticks are served while they are still warm and a little soft. They pair beautifully with your favorite Italian dish and red sauce, but I also love them with an antipasto platter and a little red wine.
Now for a little New Year’s surprise! To celebrate the New Year we are hosting a little giveaway. Enter below for a chance to win a $25 Visa Gift Card! (Please note this giveaway is only open to US residents. Must be 18+ to enter). Good luck!
Enjoy with Love!3
Love them! I would probably snack on them all day long :-)) Happy New Year!
Oh dear! These are amazing! Yes, really made with art! <3 Congrats, and many many blessings for you in this 2019! ^_^
Maybe next giveaway a non social media option, remember those? LoL
Kari Jasus says
these look so delicious and easy to make!
DAVID J MYERS says
Catherine, Love quality Italian bread sticks with a nice bowl of pasta or a salad! Have a great day… Take Care, Big Daddy Dave
tiffany dayton says
They look so good.
Those are just perfect and look delicious
what a stunning recipe Catherine, your “grissini” are delicious, perfect for an “aperitivo time”, Happy New Year, a warm hug !
Nicoletta De Angelis Nardelli says
So true, Italian breadsticks, grissini, are much plainer and “healthier” than their American counterpart. These look perfect and they are great with an antipasto platter.
Your breadsticks definitely remind me of the ones I remember from my childhood. They were my favorite thing to snack on when we went out to dinner, and yes, they are very different from the ones offered in many restaurants today. Love your version of them! Wish I could jump through the screen and sneak a bite! 😉
Leslie Haasch says
These kinds of breadsticks have always been one of those things that I get so excited to eat when I see them, and then I promptly forget about them until the next time I see them. I should just make them myself!
Veena Azmanov says
Oh, my little ones use to eat breadsticks all the time. She had week gums so her doctor asked me to let her chew on breadsticks and I’d make these at least once a week.
Been ages now….. I can almost taste these. Look so delish.
anne lawton says
I’ve always wanted to try making breadsticks. You make it look easy!
Breadsticks! Home-made breadsticks? Yes please! Love me some good breadsticks, I am super excited to make these and devour them into the night 😛
Dominique | Perchance to Cook says
I am seriously craving breadsticks after seeing these photos now! These look perfectly crispy. Saving this recipe for sure!
Kiki Johnson says
Oh I LOVE these breadsticks! I know them as Grissini and back in Germany they were always a staple at any Italian restaurant and came with the cutlery! Here in Canada, I started to miss them and I would love to try making my own! Thanks for sharing
Marisa Franca says
We love making grissini and they are more like the Italian version. They are long, thin, and crisp. It seems like the American version is like soft bread dough that is buttery and greasy. But honestly — they are good too. There just isn’t a bread I’ve found that I don’t like. Your grissini look like the perfect addition with the wine.
connie danielson says
they look so yummy! I would snack on them all day long too!
They look amazing! My kids love them and would snack on them all day long! Saving this so I can make them at home!
Elizabeth Leaver says
These are the type of thing I can see myself eating 10 of before coming up for air. They look SO GOOD. Love the suggestion of having them with antipasto and red wine as well, that is pretty much my food heaven 🤤
Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life says
My husband and I certainly love a good bread stick so we’re definitely going to have to give your recipe a try in the not-too-distant future!
connie danielson says
they look so yummy! thanks for this recipe!