Serious Eats: Recipes

Bread Baking: Crispy Seedy Breadsticks

[Photograph: Donna Currie]

I love festive winter dinners, but they tend to be full of comfort food: everything's rich, smooth, and creamy. Sometimes there's a salad leading the way, but once you hit the main dish, there's not a lot of crunch. Breadsticks to the rescue. These are a perfect companion to the dinner rolls in the bread basket, and they'd be welcome with the appetizers as well.

As much as I love a fluffy dinner roll, there's so much other food served for holiday meals that a roll seems like a lot of food to commit to. Breadsticks are smaller—almost just a nibble—so it's easy to make room on the plate for one. Or two.

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Not only are these breadsticks crisp, they're filled with seeds that add even more texture. And since these are dry crispy breadsticks, you can make them ahead of time and they'll last for a long time. No need to worry about getting them eaten with the rest of the leftovers, these can wait for you to get around to them.

When I make breadsticks, usually I don't bother trimming the edges of the dough before I cut the sticks, which means the ends of the breadsticks are always a little knobby looking. This time I decided to be neater about it, but it's up to you if you're going for holiday-polished or something more rustic.

These bake at a low temperature for a long time, so they dry out before they brown. The slow baking also eliminates the need to rearrange them much during baking.

*Note: I used one teaspoon each of toasted sesame seeds, brown sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, nigella seeds, poppy seeds, and white poppy seeds. Use any combination of your favorites.

About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. She launched the blog Cookistry and has now joined the Serious Eats team with a weekly column about baking.

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