Cornmeal Grissini with Fennel

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Grissini are thin, crisp Italian breadsticks. Our fennel-scented version has a decidedly American twist with the addition of cornmeal, which gives them extra crunch. They’re surprisingly easy to make because instead of forming individual snakes to make the sticks, you simply pat the dough into a rectangle, cut it into strips, and gently pull at either end to the desired length.

NotesMake-ahead: Grissini keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 7 week.

Cooking Methodbaking


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealdinner, snack

Taste and Texturecrunchy, savory

Type of Dishbread, yeast bread


  • 1 cup lukewarm water (105 to 115°F)
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus additional for brushing the dough
  • Kosher salt, for sprinkling


  1. In small bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast, and sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

  2. Stir together the flour, cornmeal, sea salt, and fennel seed in a large bowl, then stir in the yeast mixture and ¼ cup oil just until a dough forms.

  3. Turn the dough out onto an unfloured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.

  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

  5. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil two large baking sheets.

  6. Punch the down dough and turn it out onto an unfloured work surface. Pat into a 14-by-10-inch rectangle. Cut crosswise into ½-inch-wide strips. Holding a strip with your fingers at each end, gently pull the strip to about 14 inches long. Place lengthwise on the oiled baking sheet, about ¾ inch apart.

  7. Brush the sticks lightly with oil and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.

  8. Bake in the upper and lower thirds of oven, switching the position of the sheets halfway through baking, until the sticks are crisp and the ends are golden, 18 to 20 minutes total. Transfer to racks to cool.


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