Twisted Grissini with tomatoes
For the grissini dough:
- 1 tablespoon fast acting yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 220-280ml warm water
- 500gm bread (pizza) flour
- 50ml olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-3 tablespoons nigella seeds (black cumin)
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- salt and pepper, up to taste
- thyme, dried or fresh, up to taste
1) To make the Grissini: combine the flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix to combine.
2) Combine the water, sugar and olive oil in a liquid measuring cup. With the mixer running, add the liquid to the dry ingredients in a steady stream.
3) Process until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place the dough in a lightly oiled container. Cover the container and let the dough ferment at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1.5 – 2 hours. On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a rectangle about 10x30cm. The exact dimensions are not critical. Wrap in oiled cling wrap and place into the fridge for 20 minutes.
4) Meantime prepare the filling: In a medium sized frying pan heat the olive oil and fry chopped onion to lightly golden colour. Add thyme, pepper and paprika. Stir few times, then add tomato paste. Stir over low heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly before spreading over the dough.
5) Preheat the oven to 200-220C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 4-5mm thick. Spread the filling evenly, covering half of the surface of the rolled dough. Cover the filling with the plain dough then gently roll with a rolling pin lightly covered with flour.
6) Cut thin strips of equal width (about 0.5cm each). On an unfloured but lightly oiled surface, twist the strip, moving palms of your hands in opposite directions (I am a righty, so my right hand slides up, while my left hand slides down). The strip will elongate slightly at the same time. Make it a bit longer than the length of your baking sheet, to allow for spring-back.
7) Place the grissini evenly spaced across the width of the parchment-lined baking sheet.
8) Bake until golden brown. Then cool on a wire rack before serving.