Friday, August 1, 2008

Waiter, there's something in my... picnic! Olive, herb and parmesan sticks

Olive, herb and parmesan sticks

I haven’t taken part in blog events lately – I never seem to keep the deadlines in mind – but picnics are something I hold very dear and they are the theme for this “Waiter, there’s something in my...”, hosted by Johanna, Jeanne and Andrew.

When I was little, my parents used to take me and my brother to parks on the weekends, and we had wonderful picnics there (I once wrote about it here). To this day I can remember the towel over the grass and all the yummy snacks prepared by Mom – she was a magnificent cook/baker.
After she was gone, my paternal grandmother - who looked after us for a couple of years - would let my brother and I have picnics on the living room; she would lay the towel on the carpet for us to eat, just like my mom did on the grass.

These delicious bread sticks are my contribution to the event. Just stay away from them as they come out of the oven – otherwise, there will be none left for the picnic.

Olive, herb and parmesan sticks

Olive, herb and parmesan sticks
from Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads

5g fresh yeast or ½ envelope (3.5g) active dry yeast – I used dry
250g white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup (180ml) water, room temperature

¾ cup purple olives, such as Kalamata, with pits in
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
cornmeal, for dusting – I didn’t have any at home, so I used flour instead

Start with the dough: using a mixer with the dough hook, put the flour in the mixer bowl and rub in the yeast (if using dry, just mix in). Switch the mixer onto the slowest speed, add the salt and then the water, and mix for 2 minutes, then turn up to the next slowest speed and mix for another 6-7 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Remove the dough from the bowl, transfer to a lightly floured counter and mold into a ball.
Place in a lightly floured large bowl, cover with plastic/cling film and let rise in a draft-free area for 1 hour.

Make the filling: pit the olives and cut each one roughly into three (I cut into more pieces). Mix the olives, cheese and herbs together in a bowl. Set aside.

Assembling: with the help of the rounded end of your scraper, turn the dough onto the counter, lightly dusted with cornmeal. Using your hand, flatten out a rectangle about ¾-inch (2cm) thick. Sprinkle the filling on top and press it into the dough with your fingertips. Fold one third of the dough into the center and press down with your fingertips. Then fold the opposite side over on top (as if you were folding a letter to put into an envelope). Press with the palms of your hands to work the olives into the dough. With the flat edge of your scraper, cut the dough widthwise into 10-12 strips about ½-inch (1cm) wide. Flour the counter with cornmeal. Twist each strip (I pressed the sides together so the filling wouldn’t fall off) and roll them a little on the counter so they stretch to the length of your baking try (nonstick or covered with foil so the cheese in the dough won’t stick to the tray) and place the strips on top, leaving a gap between them – 1 inch (2.5cm) is fine.
Cover with a lintfree dishtowel and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220ºC/428ºF; put the baking dish into the oven and mist the inside with a water spray. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Use a spatula to lift them from the baking tray. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 10-12 – I got 16

Olive, herb and parmesan sticks


Arundathi said...

o this looks so good!!

Jen Yu said...

Yummmmmm! Those look delicious. I'll have to keep this recipe in my stash to try. I'm a savory girl and these are *perfect* :)

Manggy said...

Aww, I can just imagine cute lil' Patricia, on a towel in the living room :) How sweet of your grandmother-- what a nice memory :) You appear to have inherited the awesomeness gene from your mom. These looks very delicious and apt for a picnic!

Steph said...

Yum, these look amazing! Definitely bookmarked!

Anonymous said...

so delicious Patricia! & how wonderful and fun to create such a memory as picnics in the living room?!

Sarah said...

How lovely are these?? I am totally making these for a picnic with the hubby.

Deborah said...

Yeah, I don't think these would make it to the picnic for me!! They sound delicious!

Anonymous said...

What a nice memory of your Mom....these look yummy...I think they would never make it to the picnic basket. They are just too easy to pop in my mouth!

Anonymous said...

Lovely post and FABULOUS-looking breadsticks!

thepassionatecook said...

wow, these look amazing, paty! i wish i could taste some right now... if i wasn't living in self-catering accomodation at the moment, i would love to make these - the weather here is gorgeous and we're having picnics at the lakes every day! thanks for taking part in WTSIM!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

Gorgeous-looking breadsticks!

Anonymous said...

I like picnic too ! It makes me smile to imagine a picnic in the living room ! These breadsticks look like the one you can't stop eating until the last one... Yummy !

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Beautiful Patricia...I'd love some of these for my next picnic!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

Love these! They look so tasty!

LyB said...

Those look great Patricia, perfect for a Picnic or anytime of day for that matter! :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love picnics, too, and these would look so elegant in the picnic basket!

Anh said...

I love these since I think olive is so good with bread dough! They look so elegant, too.

Alexa said...

These bread sticks look so yummy, I can almost smell their wonderful aroma through my screen. I enjoyed reading about your childhood picnics. My mom use to do the same with us and it's still one of my best memories...

Peabody said...

Would have loved these to snack on today!

Dragon said...

Olives and cheese? You can't go wrong with that. A wonderful entry.

Sara said...

So pretty! I can imagine how wonderful they'd taste too.

test it comm said...

Those parmesan sticks sound great!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Wow, these look fabulous! I would not be able to resist these. Well done, Patricia!

jasmine said...

These look so good--am such a fan of olives. These may inspire me to make little buns with these flavours...


Anonymous said...

I'm coming along on your picnic! Yum!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Arundathi, thank you!

Jen, I think you would love these. ;)

Mark, I have many nice memories from my childhood, despite the troubled times. And when I told her I had written about it on the blog she was so glad! :)
Your comment made me smile with joy, my friend. Thank you.

Steph, thank you!

Dayna, my grandma is brilliant. :)

Sarah, I bet you and the hubby will love these.

Deb, I know! They were gone so fast! :)

Cathy, my mom would like these, sweetie. I'm sure. :)

Ann, thank you!

Johanna, you are such a dear, thank you! I'm glad you like them!
Those picnics at the lakes sound fabulous!

Eating Club..., thank you!

Vanille, we had so much fun in the living room! :)

Pete, I'm sure you would love these.

Melody, thank you!

LyB, I had them watching a movie and it worked so well... :)

Lydia, Richard Bertinet's book is filled with elegant, nice recipes. I should bake more from it.

Anh, olives are good in just about anything, sweetie! :)

Alexa, thank you so much for stopping by! And I'm glad to hear you and I share memories like these. Isn't it wonderful?

Pea, I bet you would, darling!

Dragon, I agree - olives and cheese are winners. :)

Sara, thank you!

Kevin, thank you!

Lynn, they are hard to resist. :)

Jasmine, darling, I'm sure something wonderful will come out of that kitchen of yours. :)

Kristen, please, do! :)

Andreea said...

these would be my type of snack. oh i have to make these. delicious.

Stella said...

These are the most attractive parmesan sticks I've ever seen!
And I love your linguini!!!!!!!!

Meghan said...

Oh I'm in love!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

All that olive filling oozing out looks fabulous!

Elle said...

There is no way these could be bad! I'm definitely trying these soon! And maybe I'll even plan a picnic around them.

Deeba PAB said...

Ooooooooh, I love savoury Patricia & I'm SO GLAD this event enticed you. Beautiful pictures too...this is just my kinda picnic stuff!

Jeanne said...

Oh that looks incredible! I love all the flavours and would definitely invite you to my picnic - provided you brought some of these :)

PG said...

This look so delicious. I might go the lazy route and just use puff pastry.

Jaime said...

those look delicious!

Lynne Daley said...

Wow, what great looking picnic food! I could eat these anywhere, anytime! Lovely photo.

Anonymous said...

Love the combination of flavors! These are so clever.

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