Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Pancetta and Parmesan Grissini

pancetta, parmesan, grissini, breadsticks

Everyone enjoying the World Cup? Wall to wall football? No, me neither.

Football and I have never gotten along. At school, if you didn’t like it, it seemed like a cardinal sin. And being Scottish and not liking football seems to be an even worse crime!

But when OXO UK asked me to take part in their World Cup Blogger Challenge, I conceded this would be my one and only mention of ‘the great game’.

I was asked to come up with a recipe from a participating country, and being part Italian, of course I decided to bake from that part of the world.

I decided to make grissini – or breadsticks, which I had never attempted before. And to make them even more Italian I decided to add chopped up pieces of pancetta and parmesan cheese.

Grissini would be perfect for snacking on whilst watching a match – or not!

To make these OXO provided me with a couple of tools to help out in the kitchen.

Firstly there was the flour sifter. It does what it says – you add your flour and sift it into the bowl. But the advantages, I found, are that you can weigh your flour in the sifter, then remove the plastic bottom before shaking the sifter from side to side (it’s as easy as that) into your mixing bowl. It’s also good for sifting icing sugar too.

I was also sent an oven thermometer. Why the need for an oven thermometer you might ask when it already has a temperature control? I have read so many places that oven temps can vary greatly from what your thermostat says. I really wanted to see what my oven reading was.

Luckily, mines was spot on. 220C for these breadstick beauties it read on my oven and the handy thermometer which clips on to your oven shelf.

Here’s how I made the Grissini.

Yield: 20 breadsticks approx.

75 grams wholemeal flour
180 ml warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
150 grams plain flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan
65 grams pancetta
adapted from The Kitchn

Fry the pancetta in a pan until it has gone crispy. Let cool and chop into small pieces.

In a bowl place the wholemeal flour, water, yeast and honey. Stir until combined and let sit for 5 minutes or so.

Add the plain flour, olive oil, salt and parmesan and mix until combined, either with your hands or a wooden spoon.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.

Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Let the dough rise for an hour and a half then remove from the bowl, back onto the floured surface.

Flatten the dough with your hands and sprinkle the chopped pancetta over it. Fold the dough over and knead for a couple of more minutes, so the pancetta is worked through evenly.

Next cut pieces of dough, weighing 30 grams each and roll into long snakes about 30cm in length.
Place these onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper.

Pre-heat the oven to 220c and let the breadsticks rise again whilst the oven comes to temperature.
Pop into the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a little more parmesan whilst hot and let cool slightly before enjoying!

These aren’t dry or tasteless like the breadsticks you buy from the supermarket, but do have a good crust and chewy middle. They are perfect to snack on with a beer when you are watching the game – ahem!!

I also made a quick dip for these from a Williams-Sonoma recipe with cheddar cheese and beer – and it was delicious warmed up in the microwave!

Disclosure Statement: I received the OXO items free to review. I was not asked to provide a positive review. Any opinions expressed are my own.


  1. Nice flour sifter - I saw similar ones at the Cake Boss range launch and definitely see the advantage over shaking! Nice grissini, I've not made my own bread sticks but think it's something I'd like to try.

    1. The sifter is being used ALL the time now Sarah - great addition to the kitchen!

  2. Mmmmmm - adding cheese and porky goodness to grissini. Genius!

    1. Thanks Jeanne - never thought of myself as a genius before lol!

  3. Of all the things I've baked, grissini have never made it on the list. To be rectified. Love the oven thermometer - I hate the all metal ones as they clang alarmingly on the shelves

    1. Yes, thermometer is a great tool and the rubber edge is ideal.

  4. Cheesy beer dip... oooooooooh now you're talking!!!!!!!

  5. I hate the football (apart from it being good for quiet roads and peaceful shopping), but the grissini look great! A chewy middle sounds delicious. The flour sifter sounds like a great idea too!

    1. Glad the footie is almost over now Kate personally!

  6. If these were served at football matches I'd be a lot keener to go!

    1. NOTHING would make want to go to a match CC!! Even these


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