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Long, crispy, thin breadsticks like these grissini are laid right on the tablecloth at many Piedmontese restaurants.

photographer: Ken Burris
Nutritionist Tested & Approved

Time: 140 minutes (45 minutes prep)

  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast

  • 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour , preferably white-whole wheat (see Shopping Tip)

  • 1 3/4-2 cups all-purpose flour , plus more for dusting

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil , divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt , divided

  1. Stir water and sugar in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add yeast and let stand for 10 minutes; it should bubble (if it doesn’t, throw it out and start over with fresh yeast).

  2. Add whole-wheat flour, 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix with a wooden spoon and, eventually, your hands until combined. Add up to 1/4 cup more all-purpose flour if the dough seems sticky.

  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, at least 5 minutes.

  4. Lightly oil a clean large bowl. Gather the dough into a ball; place it in the bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  5. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375°F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.

  6. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Stretch and roll each piece to about 24 inches long and approximately 3/8 inch thick. Cut each piece in half to make 2 dozen 12-inch-long breadsticks. Place about 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Brush both sides of the breadsticks with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  7. Bake the breadsticks for 15 minutes. Gently turn each breadstick over. Continue baking until crisp and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more.

Shopping tip: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. Find it in large supermarkets or online from

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size
1 breadstick
14 g
3 g
Saturated Fat
0 g
2 g
0 mg
Dietary Fiber
1 g
55 mg
71 mg
2 dozen breadsticks
1 starch
1/2 fat

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