Sunday, May 13, 2012

From U-Bake to Grissini and Back Again...

Having the right flour can make all the difference!

If you've read either my last post Gah! Grissini or even Durum Rosemary Dough...I Think, you'd see that I've been waging an ongoing battle against my foe; flour. I just haven't had the brains to find the flour that I truly needed to execute these recipes properly, and it's been my downfall on two recipes. I got on the net, and started doing google searches trying to find a specialty flour or baking shop and the local U-Bake store popped up. I had been under the impression that U-Bake was a place where you went to get frozen dough for breads and cookies (which they do have in abundance)...but they have a lovely selection of flours! When I popped into my local U-Bake location on Friday after work, I was delighted to actually, finally, find High Gluten Flour!

Not only did I finally find my High Gluten Flour, but U-Bake was a bakers mecca! Every kind of flour I could imagine, and an entire wall of sprinkles!! Since I pride myself on my cupcakes...I'll be returning soon and often to find some fun new decorations!

Back to this weeks recipe...Grissini, take II, the recipe is as follows:

High-Gluten Flour 1.25 lb
Instant Dry Yeast 8.75g
Milk, Room Temperature 9oz
Butter, Soft 3oz
Olive Oil 0.75oz
Salt 0.5oz (and YES, I measured correctly this time)
Malt Syrup 10.8oz
Olive Oil For Brushing
Optional Garnishes, I used Sea Salt, Poppy Seeds and a Buttermilk Ranch Spice Mix

As per my usual M.O., mix the yeast and flour in one bowl, and the other ingredients in the mixer's bowl. Mix on low speed (stir) with the bread hook attachment for 4 minutes, then on medium speed for another 3 minutes. The dough should be very stiff, which mine was (YAY!). Let the dough rest in the mixing bowl for 15 minutes.

Once rested, the dough then needs to bulk ferment for 30 minutes. I transferred the dough to my handy rising bowl (sprayed with a touch of Pam) and covered it with plastic wrap, then I went and folded clothes.

Now we come to the fun part! Grissini is basically a long, skinny bread stick and the method of making the grissini in my text book is to use a pasta machine. I purchased this model from Bed Bath and Beyond a few weeks ago after they sent out a 20% off coupon in the mail.

I divided my dough into hunks for ease of rolling. The dough needs to be rolled out into strips no wider than the pasta machine and about 12 inches long.

Once you have your strip of dough, it is run through the rollers of the pasta machine at it's widest setting, then again at setting #5. This left me with a nice thin sheet of dough, ready to be made into thin strips. We're getting ever closer to the elusive Grissini! 

Using the fettuchine cutter attachment, I rolled the dough through my spankin' new pasta machine creating neat little strips of dough!

The strips of dough then are laid out, not touching, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Then it's time to let the dough proof, covered for 30 minutes. Once proofed, I lightly brushed the strips with olive oil and sprinkled them with the salt, poppy seeds and ranch herbs. Into a 360 degree oven for about 13 minutes, or until golden brown!!

HOORAY!!! It only took two tries, but I finally made Grissini!!

I will say that these were fantastic!! They were light, crispy and were reminiscent of the bread sticks you used to see in Italian restaurants! In addition to being tasty, they were surprisingly easy to make!

Now that my husband has seen my pasta machine at work, he's excited for me to put it to it's intended use and crank out some pasta! His first request...Buffalo Chicken Ravioli! 

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