From Piemonte. In my experience the bread you can buy from a good baker is usually a superior product to home-made, unless you have a great deal of time to invest and a very good oven. Here in Italy very few people make bread at home. Focaccia and other bread like products are another thing though. It is quite easy to make grissini, or breadsticks, at home and they will usually be much better than the shop bought variety, especially outside of Italy. The original recipe is from a baker, so has been scaled down drastically, by a factor of about 10. The quantities and proving time are not extremely sensitive, so you have a bit of leeway.
- 500g 00 flour or similar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp malt (or sugar)
- 1 cube of fresh yeast or the equilvalent amount of dried
- 1 tsp of lard (replace with oil if you want a vegetarian version)
- Up to 300ml of tepid water
- A little semolina for dusting
Mix together the flour, salt, malt, yeast and lard. Add water, little by little, until you get a soft pliable dough. Make sure you knead it well.
Form into a rectangle about 15cm long by 3cm deep. Cover with a clean towel and leave to prove for about 2 hours.
Cut the dough into 2cm strips and stretch to make the grissini shapes. I prefer them quite chunky, but remember that they will about double in size in the oven.
Bake them at 200°C until golden brown (about 18-20 minutes).