Recently I lost my appetite a little bit (this is not something usual if I am not sick) and I don’t know why. Working for long hours and sleeping less might be the reason I guess. During the day I feel like I do not have time to think for a while, instead I have to get one thing done and continue with the next issue on the line. If your work day is something similar to mine you will figure out what I say. Each and everything is so “urgent” undermining the meaning of the word “urgent” (I hate this word and want to remove it from the dictionary? Let me call it the “U” word from now on).
I was looking for some sort of savoury snack to nibble at the office when I do not want or do not have time to eat a proper meal. These breadsticks are exactly what I was looking for. Delicious, healthy and relieving your tension with each noisy bite you take.
Original recipe is from a must have book for a bread making enthusiast, “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart, where he says breadsticks can be made from almost any bread dough. They can be long or short, crispy or soft, the way you like. It is possible to bake soft ones from different dough like English muffin, French or Italian bread dough, while crispy ones require bagel or lavash dough type.
Baking them at low temperature for long time makes them dry and crispy while high temperature and short baking time (until they gain golden color) yields a softer one. Since I love the crispy stuff, my preference was using a lavash dough made out of whole wheat flour and sprinkling some sea salt and herb mixture on top. You can use different herb combinations though I made lemon thyme, paprika, poppy seed and sesame-fennel flower seed with grated parmigiano variations and both came out flavorful.
Right after your breadsticks are baked and cooled down, you are equipped for a difficult day in the office, at least in terms of food supplies. Rather than craving some junk food you may consume these toothsome crisps. Besides do not underestimate their stress relieving feature, try concentrating on the person who told you the “U” word and bite the breadstick harshly, now you feel better. Don’t you?
Ingredients (makes 30-50 pieces depending on the size of each stripe)
Adapted from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart
- 1 ½ cups (6.75 oz.) whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup water (at room temperature)
- 1 egg yolk (at room temperature)
- Grated parmigiano
- Ground herbs of your choice
- Sea salt
|1.||Stir together the flour, salt, yeast, honey, oil and water and form a ball.|
|2.||Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough. Knead for 10 minutes until everything is incorporated and a medium firm dough is formed. (Cut off a small piece of dough and gently stretch and pull, if it holds a paper-thin, translucent membrane that means it is done, if it falls apart continue mixing for another one or two minutes and retest)|
|3.||Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.|
|4.||Mist the counter lightly with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter.|
|5.||Press the dough into a square with your hand and dust the top lightly with flour, roll it out into a paper-thin sheet about 38cm X 30cm (15” X 12”) (while rolling out make sure that you stop from time to time then lift the dough and wave a little and lay it back down and make the dough relax for five minutes, cover it with a towel or a plastic wrap during this relaxing periods)|
|6.||Carefully lift the sheet of dough and lay it on the baking sheet.|
|7.||Preheat the oven to 176°C (350°F).|
|8.||With a pizza cutter (rolling blade) cut the dough into stripes, separate the pieces and brush them with egg yolk.|
|9.||Sprinkle herb combination and roll them into twists.|
|10.||Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crackers tops begin to brown evenly.|
|11.||Let them cool on the baking sheet, snap them apart and serve.|