Grissini with Parmesan and Black Pepper
These long, crispy, homemade grissini breadsticks are perfect for parties and apéritivo hour. They're simply seasoned with flaky sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and grated parmesan and then baked until golden. They're much easier to make than you might think, and they're ready in an hour!
Try our no yeast bread with herbs and cheese or our white cheddar gougères with smoke sea salt.
Table of contents
As kids, breadsticks were something we'd look forward to at Italian restaurants (and on the rare occasion, something our parents would buy from the store). Although we loved them, they were really hard and mostly flavorless.
These homemade grissini breadsticks are the exact opposite! They're rich, buttery, and flavorful with a good amount of crunch.
They make a delicious snack or appetizer on a charcuterie board with meats, cheeses, olives, and dips. They're easy to make ahead of time for parties, and they freeze beautifully, too!
What is grissini?
Grissini are traditional Italian breadsticks, originating from the northern town Turin, in Italy. Like breadsticks, they're long thin pieces of crispy bread traditionally made with a simple pizza-like dough, and a good amount of olive oil. They're often enjoyed as a snack (or apéritivo) with meats, cheeses, olives, and dips.
How to make grissini
Homemade grissini might seem intimidating to make from scratch, but the ingredients and methods are simple. Just mix the dough together, knead it, and let it rise. Divide it into equal pieces, roll it into imperfect little sticks, and bake them until golden.
It's surprisingly easy to make this homemade grissini recipe, kids love them, and they always turn out great! Here's how we make them in a couple straight-forward steps:
- Warm the milk and butter on the stove, then add the dry active yeast, and wait for it to bloom.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, add the milk mixture, and use your hands to combine it all into a ball.
- Turn the dough out onto your work surface and knead it with your hands.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough rise. We like to use a beeswax food wrap or a clean kitchen towel to cover the bowl rather than a piece of plastic wrap.
- Divide the dough into 24 equal rectangle-shaped pieces.
- Roll them out into little sticks (it's okay if they're uneven and wobbly), and sprinkle them with parmesan cheese and flaky sea salt.
- Bake them in the oven until they're golden brown, then let them cool before enjoying or storing them.
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
One of the great things about homemade grissini is that, unlike store-bought breadsticks, there are no preservatives or unwanted ingredients. Here's everything you need to make them:
- Butter – butter adds moisture and a rich buttery taste to these grissini. We use unsalted butter but you can also use olive oil, if you prefer.
- Milk – along with butter, the fat content in milk gives these grissini a crisp texture while preventing them from being rock hard.
- Active dry yeast – make sure to check the expiry date on your dry yeast if it's been sitting in your cupboard for some time. It won't do its job if it doesn't bloom.
- All-purpose flour – we use a regular all-purpose flour for this recipe.
- Sea salt + black pepper – some sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper for seasoning the dough.
- Parmesan cheese – would it be an Italian breadstick recipe without a little parmesan? We use parmigiano reggiano but you can also use pecorino romano or grana padano if you prefer.
- Flaked sea salt – flaked sea salt is used to as a finishing salt, to gives these grissini flavor and a subtle crunch.
It's easy to add variety to your grissini so have fun playing around with different flavor combinations. Here are a few delicious ways to mix up the flavors:
- Add fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary.
- Sprinkle the dough with poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
- Experiment with different types of salt like smoked salt
- Give them some heat with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
What to eat with grissini
In Italy, grissini breadsticks are typically served as a snack with meats like prosciutto, cheeses, and olives during apéritivo hour.
They happen to be the perfect shape for dunking into dips and they also taste wonderful Italian-style with a bit of herb-infused olive oil.
Serve them in place of bread with soups and stews, or turn them into a rustic and dramatic centerpiece by placing them in a tall glass or vase in the center of your table.
Also, try these gluten-free vegan breadsticks!
The best way to store grissini is in a resealable bag (we like these stasher ones) or an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Absolutely! Just like bread, grissini freezes beautifully. When properly stored in a resealable bag or container they will keep for up to 3 months!
In our homemade grissini recipe, there are only 78 calories per stick.
Yes! Olive oil is the traditional fat used and works well in this recipe, too.
Popular appetizer recipes
If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup milk
- ¾ teaspoon active dry yeast, see notes
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Fresh ground pepper and flaked sea salt
- Add the butter and milk to a small pan and heat the milk until the butter has melted and the milk is lukewarm (not hot) to the touch. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the active dry yeast over top. Let it sit for 10 minutes to bloom.3 tablespoons butter, ¾ cup milk, ¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
- Whisk the flour, sea salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Once the yeast has bloomed add the milk all at once. Use your hands to combine the flour and milk until it forms a ball.2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, ¾ teaspoon sea salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Turn the dough out onto a clean, dry surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes, or until it becomes smooth.
- Put the dough back into the bowl, cover the bowl, and let it rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Do this by dividing the dough in half then each half into half again. Repeat until you have 24 pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a long stick, about 16 inches. Lay the pieces on the baking sheets and sprinkle them with grated parmesan cheese, some fresh ground pepper, and a few pinches of flaked salt.½ cup grated parmesan cheese, Fresh ground pepper and flaked sea salt
- Bake the grissini in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before storing them in a resealable bag.
For more inspiration, check out all of our appetizer recipes!
I’ve never heard of them referred to as grissini before, but I do know they are one of my favorite snacks! These look absolutely amazing AND you photography is stunning!
Thank you so much, Kelly!