Grissini are made with a simple pizza crust-like dough that's heavy on the olive oil, which gives it its flavor and texture and helps to create a very easy-to-work with, pliable dough. You can purchase pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store to make grissini, but this homemade dough is so quick and simple to put together, you can easily whip up a batch from scratch.
It's also very easy to add variety to your grissini. Chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, and seeds, such as poppy seeds or sesame seeds, are a classic addition. A simple salt-and-pepper flavoring is nice, too, and you can experiment with different kinds of salts, such as smoked salt. (See recipe notes for more on how to add flavored salt.) For this recipe, I also added a small amount of whole wheat flour for a little more flavor complexity.
Your grissini can be as long or short as you want, limited only
by the size of your baking pans. When you roll them, be sure to allow them to be uneven and wobbly. This will only add to their charm!
Grissini make a dramatic, graphic centerpiece if served up in a large glass or vase placed in the center of your table. People can't resist reaching for one of the long, wonky sticks and crunching away. Be careful though, as they can sometimes encourage playful antics such as baton twirling, symphony conducting and sword flights! You can also serve them with cocktails or wine before dinner, accompanied by other classic antipasti such as olives, cheese, and cured meats.
The best thing about grissini is that they are meant to have a free form, rustic look, so you don't have to worry about making them look perfect. The more wonky and mismatched, the better!
Making grissini is fun! Adding herbs or seeds means you can customize your grissini and add variety.