Fun fact, did you know that traditional Italian grissini are basically vegan breadsticks? That's right, these delicious appetizers are 100% cruelty-free, which makes them a favourite dinner party snack.
But before I went vegan, as a kid, I used to have grissini all the time. Such a great snack with that perfect snap. They are also easy to make, they require few ingredients, yet they taste so incredibly good. I believe this is the secret to all Italian food: simple yet delicious and full of flavours, same as yummy vegan pizza.
How are vegan breadsticks made?
Vegan breadsticks are very easy to make. They require bread flour, water, a little olive oil and active dry yeast. You can add flavour to your breadsticks like rosemary, thyme, oregano, garlic powder or just salt.
The process of making vegan breadsticks is similar to that of bread. You need to prepare the yeast and activate it using sugary water. To be fair, I always do this irrespective of using active dry yeast or instant dry yeast. I just like the result of my bread more.
Mix all your dry ingredients together, add the olive oil then add the yeasty water. For these vegan breadsticks, I use my hands to knead. You can use a kitchen aid if you prefer, but there is a personal connection for these authentic Italian grissini, so I just like making it the traditional way. There is no shame in using a kitchen aid, especially if your wrists are a little weak. Kneading dough can be difficult, so do it the way you love it.
Don't forget to set a timer when you leave your dough to proof. I tend to forget it in the corner as I start doing all sort of tasks in the kitchen. It might sound like silly advice, but hey, it works for me.
Do you like your vegan breadsticks less snappy? There is a way to achieve that. Here's a trick. You can use all-purpose flour instead and before going to the oven, you can let them proof for about 5 minutes. They will become a lot softer. It's of course, not the traditional way of doing the Italian grissini, but I know some people prefer a less snappy breadstick.
Who invented breadsticks?
It's believed that breadsticks originated in 1643, when a Florentine abbot described a long-shaped and "bone-thin" bread being made in a town outside of Turin. (Wikipedia)
But, according to the myths and legends, there is another version of the history of breadsticks. It was the year 1675, and the young Duke of the House of Savoy, Vittorio Amedeo II di Savoia, was nine years old when he was seriously ill. According to the story, the doctor who attended the Duke also suffered from the same issues when he was young, only to be cured by his mother's bread which was “well leavened, well-baked with little crumb and very crisp.”. And so, the breadstick recipe was replicated to cure the Duke. Well, the Duke was indeed cured and became the first Piedmont king in 1713.
Do Italians eat breadsticks?
Italians sure eat breadsticks. You can even visit various locations in Italy where breadsticks are still being made the authentic, traditional way. It's actually quite fascinating.
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How do you store homemade breadsticks
Store your homemade breadsticks in an airtight container. But do eat them 2-3 days, as after that the bread can become a little stale.
Can you freeze breadsticks? Yes, you can also freeze breadsticks. Wrap tightly with aluminium foil or plastic freezer wrap and place them in the freezer. How long do breadsticks last in the freezer? Properly stored, the breadsticks will maintain their quality for about 3 months.
What to eat vegan breadsticks with?
You can eat your homemade vegan breadsticks as a snack on their own as an appetizer or accompanied by dips or spreads. You can enjoy them alongside hummus or with a delicious vegan spread made from sundried tomatoes and giant white beans.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.