These aren’t the soft, yeasty breadsticks you find at some steakhouses. Instead, they are more like the Italian grissini and are crispy and flavorful. They are wonderful to snack on while you wait for dinner to cook or while watching the sport of politics as the Democratic National Convention has been on this week (the Republican National Convention is on next week).
Many recipes would have you push the olives into the twists once you’ve placed them on a baking tray. I find mixing them in with the dough means you get a little olive in every bite and no burnt bits.
I sprinkle the tops with flake salt but you can also use a seasoning blend like an everything bagel seasoning, Italian seasoning, pizza seasoning, etc.
Very good and even better dipped in a little olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper. Bring on the speeches!
Sourdough Olive Breadsticks
1 cup warm water
1 cup sourdough starter
1 ½ cups bread flour
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
½ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
egg wash for brushing
flake salt or other seasoning for topping
Mix all ingredients and knead until all flour is hydrated, at least 8-10 minutes. Place dough in a buttered bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm place. At 30 minutes and an hour into the proof, go into the bowl and pick up a bit of the outside of the dough and lift and press into the center. Continue while moving the bowl until you’ve gone all the way around. After the second press, let the dough rest for a further 2 hours.
Generously flour the counter with semolina flour if you have it or use all-purpose and gently turn out the dough. The dough will be wet so sprinkle the top with flour to minimize sticking. Use your hands to flatten and shape the dough into a rectangle. With a knife or pizza cutter, divide the dough into 12-16 strips and shape into long, thin ropes by gently pulling the ends and twisting a few times.
Arrange the twists on greased baking sheets about an 1 inch apart. Do as many trays as necessary but only bake one at a time. Scramble the egg with a tablespoon of water and brush over the top of the twists. Sprinkle with salt or seasoning blend. Let sit on the counter while you preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Bake 16-20 minutes until crispy and turn out on a cooling rack. These crisp up further on the cooling rack, so don’t over bake them.
If you plan to freeze or serve later, bake without egg wash or topping. Once done, cool on wire rack and store in a zip top bag and store. Just before serving, brush tops with olive oil and sprinkle on preferred topping and pop into a 350 degree F oven for about ten minutes until they are heated through.