About this recipe:Freshly grated Parmesan, a bite of black pepper and just a hint of fresh rosemary, baked into crispy golden twists. Great to eat now or to serve to guests, and perfect to give as a gift.
425g (15oz) white bread flour
100g (3½oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or ½ tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp easy-blend dried yeast
300ml (10fl oz) lukewarm water
4 tbsp semolina or polenta
1 tsp olive oil
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Method Prep:25min › Cook:36min › Ready in:1hr1min
Mix 140g (5oz) of the flour with the Parmesan, rosemary, pepper and yeast in a large bowl. Blend in the water. Add 175g (6oz) more flour to form a soft dough. Dust a work surface with the remaining flour. Turn the dough on to the floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, working in the remaining flour to keep the dough from sticking. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Cover with a damp tea towel and rest for 10 minutes.
Cut two 40 × 30cm (16 × 12in) sheets of greaseproof paper and sprinkle each with 1 tbsp semolina. Pat out the dough pieces on the paper into 25 × 15cm (10 × 6in) rectangles. Brush with oil and cover with tea towels. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Line four baking sheets with baking parchment and sprinkle with the remaining semolina. Put one of the dough pieces into the fridge. Cut the other piece across into 20 equal strips. Holding each strip by the ends, twist and stretch until it is about 30cm (12in) long. Place the twists 2.5cm (1in) apart on the baking sheets. Leave to rise, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Lightly coat the strips of dough with cooking spray or a little olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the breadsticks from the oven and lightly coat again with cooking spray or brush with a teaspoon of olive oil. Bake for a further 8 minutes or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough.
Some more ideas
*Add very finely chopped walnuts to the dough. *Use a mixture of Parmesan and another strong grating cheese such as pecorino.
Rosemary is believed to offer relief to ailments of the nervous system, and is rich in such anti-cancer compounds as carnosol, rosmanol and a variety of flavonoids. Additional anti-cancer substances in rosemary – cineole, geraniole and pinene – show promise in blocking tumour growth. Rosemary is highly aromatic, so be careful not to overuse it in your cooking.