A belated Saturday post as I had a wonderful day out with my boys yesterday, so I am sharing my Saturday afternoon platter idea on a Sunday morning. 😉 We had a great time; photos to follow in My Week in Pictures Post. But first I am going to sing the praises of a simple platter idea.
Breadsticks! They are such a great idea. Crispy sticks that are perfect for nibbling on, serving with dips, or having a sword fight with. Oh yes the joys of boys! A grissini is just a breadstick, but a more rustic style breadstick. They have lumps and bumps on and aren't all the same thickness. (sound like people!)
If you want a few simple dip ideas then check out my marinated feta, white bean dip, or my favourite eggplant dip (please ignore the photo on this one!! I was just starting out on the blog and still used my iPhone). I also love Delia's Carrot and Coriander Dip, this delicious sweet potato dip from Emma over at A Splash of Vanilla, and this wonderful hot cheese dip (chorizo queso fundido) from Closet Cooking. I'm giving you dip heaven today!!!
If you want to step it up a notch then make your own grissini. They are pretty simple and taste great. The process is made super easy if you have a stand mixer, but to be honest they aren't hard work without one. Some therapeutic kneading, a bit of shaping and you have bread sticks. The beauty of grissini is that they are meant to be a bit gnarly so you don't need to make a perfect stick. The bumps and lumps and edges are what give them the extra level of crunch.
I took a few photos of the making process to try and explain how to fold and cut them. We all remember my poorly drawn diagrams from the Rice Paper Rolls Post so I thought a photo or two might be better.
Once you have your breadsticks this becomes one of the simplest Saturday afternoon platter ever. It is really an assembly job! Prosciutto wrapped bread sticks, effortless but elegant. If you are pushed for time or don't want to start rolling dough then these can be made with shop bought grissini.
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Makes 12 breadsticks
- 6 slices of prosciutto
- 12 grissini breadstick (either shop bought or homemade - See below)
- handful each of cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives
- slices of provolone (or you favourite cheese)
- Pull or cut each strip of prosciutto carefully into two slices.
- Wrap one strip of prosciutto around a breadstick.
- Serve with tomatoes, olives and some slices of cheese.
For the Grissini
- 75g whole wheat flour
- 160ml water
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried yeast
- 300g plain flour
- 4 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra)
- ¾ tsp salt
- semolina/dry polenta
- In the bowl of the mixer, combine the whole wheat flour, water, honey and yeast. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes. It should start to foam slightly.
- Add the plain flour to the bowl, pour in the olive oil and sprinkle over the salt.
- Mix on low speed with the dough hook until it starts to look like dough. (or with your hands)
- Continue to mix it on a medium speed for 10 minutes until the dough looks smooth and supple.
- Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into a large bowl and give your hands a quick dip into the oil.
- Pull the dough from the stand mixer, and form a ball. Transfer it to the oiled bowl moving the dough around until it is well covered in oil.
- Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave it to rise for about 10 minutes.
- Spread a large piece of clingfilm out and brush the cling film liberally with olive oil.
- Transfer the dough a chopping board and use your fingers to push it out into a rectangular shape. Fold the dough over along its longest edge so you have a long thin piece of dough, like a baguette (see photos above).
- Cover it loosely with the oiled cling film and allow it to rise for an hour.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/fan forced 180ºC/Gas mark 6.
- Line 2 baking trays with cooking paper.
- Slice a finger-sized piece from the short length of the dough (see photos above) and roll and pull it into a long stick shape. Don't worry if it is irregular thickness, this is the beauty of grissini. I like to sprinkle a little semolina onto the chopping board as this gives the sticks a crunch and slightly rougher texture.
- Resist the urge to add extra flour. If you find the grissini are sticking add a little olive oil to your hands.
- Place the grissini onto the lined baking tray and continue with the remaining dough.
- Put the grissini into the oven and bake for 5 minutes, before rotating the trays.
- Cook for a further 5-10 minutes (so 10-15 in total) until the grissini are crisp and golden. Watch them carefully as they burn easily!
- Allow to cool on a cooling rack and enjoy them wrapped in prosciutto or alone or with a dip.
- If you have any leftover they can be stored in an airtight container for 5-6 days. If they have lost crispness pop them back in a hot oven for 2 minutes. But watch them even more carefully than you did when making them. I have ruined a whole batch when reheating these!