Saturday, December 26, 2015

Cheese and poppy seed bread sticks

Cheese and poppy seed bread sticks / Grissini de queijo e sementes de papoula

It has been incredibly hot here in Sao Paulo lately, so turning on the oven is a matter of courage – as much as I love baking, and I do, you know, if possible I stay away from the kitchen while the oven does all the work. And sometimes I also try to make things to nibble with a cold beer or a glass of Prosecco instead of actually cooking – I feel like a complete loser in the summer, for the heat takes away my energy and my will of doing anything whatsoever.

These bread sticks are easy to make, last a good while if kept in an airtight container and go really well with drinks, especially with dips or rolled up with slices of prosciutto – I will make them again for New Year’s Eve, but with a different type of cheese to try new flavors (I’m thinking something sharp like feta or pecorino).

Cheese and poppy seed bread sticks
slightly adapted from Delicious Australia

250g all purpose plain flour
1 teaspoon dried instant yeast
60g strong cheddar, finely grated
2/3 cup (160ml) lukewarm water
½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons poppy seeds
25g unsalted butter, melted

Combine flour, yeast and cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, then, with the motor running at low speed, gradually add the water until the dough comes together. Add the salt and 2 teaspoons of the poppy seeds, then mix for a further 2-3 minutes until well combined. Knead for 2-3 minutes – either with the machine using a dough hook or by hand – until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, then set aside in a warm spot for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
Knock back dough on a lightly floured surface, then divide the dough into roughly equal 24 portions. Using your hands, roll each portion into a 1cm-thin straw approximately 30cm long. Transfer to a prepared baking tray, then repeat with remaining dough. Brush the straws with the melted butter and scatter with the remaining 1 teaspoon poppy seeds. Bake the straws, switching the position of the trays halfway through cooking so they’re evenly golden, for 30 minutes or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then serve.

The bread sticks can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Makes 24

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