- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS
- SERVINGS: Makes about 3 1/2 dozen
These long, crispy bread sticks are a lovely accompaniment to any soup, including Mario Batali's vegetable-and-farro version. Batali makes the bread sticks with leaves from the lightly bitter Mediterranean herb myrtle; crushed juniper berries are a good substitute. He also seasons the grissini with cayenne pepper, one of his favorite spices; he keeps it in a salt shaker so it's easy to dispense.
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed or ground to a powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Cayenne pepper, for dusting
- In a large bowl, stir the water with 1/2 cup of the flour, the honey and the yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour, the olive oil, juniper and salt and knead until a smooth dough forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Punch down the dough and cut it into 4 equal pieces. On a floured work surface, roll out each piece of dough to a 6-by-10-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangles lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Arrange the strips on the prepared sheets and sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper. Let stand until puffed, about 15 minutes.
- Bake the grissini for about 15 minutes, until golden brown; switch the pans halfway through baking. Let the grissini cool and crisp on the baking sheet before serving.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.