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Sourdough Surprises: Grissini

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sourdough Surprises found yet another excellent way to use sourdough starter: Grissini or breadsticks.
I made them quite hefty and long, and holding one in my hand made me feel like a majorette who twirls a baton as she leads the school marching band!
Sourdough Surprises suggested this recipe. The dough has a combination of whole wheat and white bread flour, with more of the WW. I know it's not terribly good for me, but I changed the proportions and used more white bread flour. I don't know if it's the type of flour we get here in Malaysia or my palate, but I find the taste of WW unappealing. Anyway, there is still some of it in these grissini, so I feel I am not completely ignoring my health!
Marmalade and cream cheese twists
Cheddar, pepper and whole-grain mustard were my spicy topping of choice. But I also made a sweet version that combined marmalade and cream cheese. The sweet-sour jam really worked with the tang of the sourdough. Obviously, these breadsticks were no longer appetisers, which is what grissini are meant for. They were fatter than the savoury version (two strips of dough are twisted together) and became my breakfast bread instead!

Stretch and twist to the length of the baking tray
Cheese & Mustard Sourdough Grissini
Dough recipe adapted from mimicooksMakes about 16 breadsticks (about 30cm long)

100g whole wheat flour
240g bread flour
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
230g well-fed 100% hydration sourdough starter
180-200g water

3-4 tbsp grain mustard
Finely grated cheddar cheese, about 150g
Ground pepper (black or Szechuan)

Combine all of the dough ingredients, except the water, in a bowl and mix well. Add the lower amount of water and stir in. If mixture is too dry, add extra water by the tablespoon until it forms a medium soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until a pliable dough forms, 5-10 minutes. The dough should be able to stretch without breaking. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough ferment for 2-3 hours with a fold at 40 and 80 minutes (Fold: Pat the dough into a 20cm x 10cm rectangle and fold it like a letter. Do not pat it roughly, you want to form air pockets and stretch the gluten but you don’t want to abuse the dough).
At the end of the fermentation time, preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Meanwhile, divide the dough into 2 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, flatten each piece into a rough rectangle, about 5mm thick. Spread rectangle with half the mustard. Sprinkle liberally with cheese and pepper, pressing in gently to adhere. Cut the rectangle into 2cm-wide strips. Each piece of dough should yield 8-10 strips. Move the dough strips one at a time to the cookie sheet. Holding one end down, twist each strip while pulling gently to stretch it to the length of the cookie sheet. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Bake the grissini for 30-40 minutes, until browned. Remove from the oven and transfer the bread to wire racks to cool completely.

To make Marmalade and Cream Cheese Twists, divide the dough into four pieces and flatten each one into a rectangle. Spread two rectangles with cream cheese and the other two with marmalade. Stack a cheese and a marmalade rectangle together. Cut into strands and twist them together. Arrange the breadsticks on baking sheets and dust with icing sugar. Bake as for the savoury grissini.


  1. Absolutely tempting, Jane! That grain mustard was a clever addition, bet it was delicious! I'm getting more and more tempted to participate on these sourdough challenges!

  2. Mmm...marmalade and cream cheese...cheesecake breadsticks? I might have to have another go at these to try that!

    1. Cheesecake breadsticks? What a great suggestion for the name of these grissini. Thanks Jessica!

  3. Oh my goodness, both of those fillings sounds scrumptious, but those sweet ones are calling my name for breakfast right now!! Your twists turned out so beautifully - I am very, very impressed! Thanks so much for baking with us again and I can't wait to sourdough with you next month :)

    1. I love baking with you all, Shelley! My sourdough starter never gets a chance to 'hibernate' nowadays!

  4. I must say, marmalade and cream cheese are two of my favorites, then mustard, another favorite of mine, I think I'm going to head back into the kitchen tonight and make these~ This is one of the reasons why I enjoy these challenges~Everyone is so darn inventive~

    1. Talk about inventive, your 'sandwich in a breadstick' is so clever, Lavender Lane!

  5. Wow, both versions sound so good! Funny, I looked at the jar of grainy mustard in the fridge when I was trying to decide what to use, and now I wish I'd thought to put it with cheese... Next time :) I used less whole wheat as well - sometimes it just tastes too... wheaty... ;)

  6. Oh, oops, I forgot to mention in my post that my grissini were 100% white flour. :S So, yours were healthier than mine! I love the sound of mustard/cheese, especially with the extra peppery kick. Yum! Must also try grissini for breakfast - they'd be great for really early starts when you're running out the door.

  7. Delicious grissini, Jane! Both look awesome, I don't think I would know which one to eat first! :) I agree with whole wheat bread - I have found that I have to buy the really fancy (and expensive) brands for me to like the taste of it.


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