- 3 medium red bell peppers—stemmed, seeded and quartered
- 4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 packet liquid pectin (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 envelopes active dry yeast (4 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 cups bread flour (1 pound), plus more for kneading and rolling
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
- 3/4 pound Montasio cheese, cut into wedges, for serving
How to make this recipe
In a blender or food processor, pulse the red peppers until coarsely pureed. You should have 2 cups. Transfer the puree to a large saucepan. Add the sugar and vinegar and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until slightly reduced, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pectin. Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 1 minute. Pour the jelly into 5 sterilized 8-ounce jars, cover tightly and let cool. If the center of the lid is springy, refrigerate the jar.
In a medium saucepan, warm the milk. Add the yeast and sugar and let stand until slightly foamy, about 5 minutes. Pour the milk into a large bowl. Add the 3 cups of bread flour, butter, salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir until a stiff, raggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil the bowl and return the dough to it, turning to coat with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 1 hour, or until doubled in volume.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press it down. Cut the dough into 5 pieces. Working with 2 pieces of dough at a time, roll each piece to a 10-inch square. Brush the dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Using a ruler and a pastry wheel or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1/3-inch-wide strips. Transfer the strips to a baking sheet.
Bake the <em>grissini</em> for 12 minutes, until golden and crisp, shifting the pans from top to bottom and front to back for even browning. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let cool completely. Serve the <em>grissini</em> with the red-pepper jelly and Montasio cheese.
To simplify this recipe, serve the jelly and cheese with store-bought grissini or water crackers, or do the opposite--buy the jelly and make the delicious, crisp breadsticks. Montasio cheese, made from cow's milk, comes from the Friuli region of Italy and is slightly nutty and fruity. You could also try pairing the jelly and breadsticks with a fabulous cheese from Piedmont. Creamy, blue Gorgonzola and runny Robiola are the most famous. Crumbly Castelmagno is prized by cheese lovers.