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What are Breadsticks?

Throughout the years, breadsticks have become a favorite in many households and, simultaneously, one of the most anticipated appetizers in plenty of restaurants. The famous grissini have an interesting history and quite a few cool facts to share.

What are the ingredients that you can add to your breadsticks to make them a bit more special?

Can grissini be considered a low-calorie snack?

And, finally, what makes the people love breadsticks so much that they have even created a special holiday to celebrate the existence of this product?

Yep, National Breadstick Day is celebrated on the last Friday in October!

An Introduction to Breadsticks

These slender, pencil-like sticks of baked, dry goodness won't leave anyone indifferent.

Breadsticks, or grissini, originated in the 17th century in Italy. Supposedly, such an alternative to traditional bread was a great option for those with digestive problems.

Even though the main ingredient that makes the breadsticks so yummy is fat (oil or butter), there are a few types that can be considered healthier options.

Those still contain a lot of calories per serving, but, at the same time, are packed with important nutrients.

A snack, an appetizer, and even a dessert; plain or with a dipping; covered in prosciutto or sprinkled with garlic – the best thing about breadsticks is that there is plenty of room for experiment.

The History of Breadsticks

There are two stories and both of them have the right to exist, so it looks like you can simply choose the one that you like the most.

According to oral tradition, back in 1675, Vittorio Amadeo II from the house of Savoy was seriously ill.

The 9-year-old boy has been suffering from intestinal disorders since his birth. He was pretty much unable to digest a lot of foods and that, of course, affected his physical development.

By a fortunate chance, the court physician had gone through such an illness himself, when he was a child. And the thing that cured him was…his mother’s bread.

The doctor asked the baker to reproduce the bread from his childhood - dry, well-baked, and crispy. It might seem hard to believe, but very soon the young duke had recovered and then became king.

There is also a historic record according to which a Florentine abbot came across this strange type of bread in a town just outside of Turin in 1643. The abbot was surprised by the bread’s shape; he described it as ‘bone-thin’ and ‘long as an arm’.

Ingredients in Breadsticks

The most common ingredients used in breadsticks are:

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Yeast
  • Water
  • Fat (oil)
  • Some recipes contain sugar

Breadstick Nutritional Information

Breadsticks made out of refined flour are high in calories (a medium ‘stick’ can have around 40 calories!) and low in nutrients. Such a snack can also contain fat and sugar – the two things that make the product more delicious.

Some breadsticks contain 13-22 grams of fat per 100 grams. By the way, the same 100 grams of the appetizer might have up to 410 calories.

However, not all hope is lost. If you are a big fan of breadsticks, then try going for the ones that are made out of whole wheat flour.

Those are still relatively high in calories, but the whole wheat alternative at least contains more nutrients. 100 grams of whole wheat breadsticks have 13 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, 4 mg of iron, and 2.16 mg of zinc.

How to Make Breadsticks

The traditional recipe is based on pizza dough that is heavy on fat (usually, olive oil). The fat is what gives the breadsticks their flavor and famous texture; moreover, working with such dough is as easy as it can be.

Simply cut the dough into strips and then roll them with your fingertips – the more 'rustic' the look, the better.

Breadsticks Recipes

For a lot of home cooks, the best part about grissini is that you can add a different special touch every time you make them.

Of course, you can always go for the salt and pepper option. However, even here you can choose to add a different type of salt (black, smoked, or garlic, for example).

The classic additions include thyme, rosemary, and sesame seeds. But nobody would be surprised, if, at one point, your hand would reach for freshly grated parmesan cheese or prosciutto.

Breadsticks FAQ's

What are breadsticks?

Breadsticks are a type of bread that is long and thin. They are often eaten as a snack or with a meal.Breadsticks are a type of bread that is long and thin. They are often eaten as a snack or with a meal.

How are breadsticks made?

Breadsticks are made by rolling dough into a long, thin strip. They are then baked until they are crispy.

Where do breadsticks come from?

Breadsticks originated in Italy. However, they are now enjoyed all over the world.

Are breadsticks healthy?

Breadsticks can be part of a healthy diet. However, they should be consumed in moderation as they can be high in calories and fat.

How many calories are in a breadstick?

There are approximately 60 calories in one breadstick.

Are breadsticks gluten free?

No, breadsticks are not gluten free as they contain wheat flour.

Can breadsticks be frozen?

Yes, breadsticks can be frozen. However, they may become hard and dry when thawed.

How long do breadsticks last?

Breadsticks will last for several days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They can also be stored in the freezer for longer periods of time.

What do breadsticks taste like?

Breadsticks have a slightly chewy texture and a mildly sweet flavor.

What are some popular breadstick toppings?

Some popular breadstick toppings include garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.

Can breadsticks be made at home?

Yes, breadsticks can be made at home with just a few simple ingredients.

Are breadsticks vegan?

No, breadsticks are not vegan as they contain wheat flour and yeast. However, there are many vegan breadstick recipes available online.

Do breadsticks contain nuts?

No, breadsticks do not contain nuts. However, they may be processed in facilities that also process nuts.

Are breadsticks kosher?

No, breadsticks are not kosher as they contain wheat flour and yeast.

What is the best way to eat breadsticks?

Breadsticks can be eaten alone or with dips such as hummus or salsa. They can also be used to scoop up food like soup or chili.

How should breadsticks be stored?

Breadsticks should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They can also be stored in the freezer for longer periods of time.

Can breadsticks be reheated?

Yes, breadsticks can be reheated. However, they may become hard and dry when reheated.

What are some breadstick recipes?

There are many breadstick recipes available online. Some popular breadstick recipes include garlic breadsticks and Parmesan cheese breadsticks.

Do breadsticks go bad?

Breadsticks will last for several days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. However, they may become hard and dry over time. If breadsticks begin to mold, they should be discarded.

Shane Jones

About Me

Hi, I'm Shane the person behind bakesomebread.com

I've been baking bread for about 10 years now and ever since mastering sourdough bread in 2020 I've decided to branch out into discovering every type of bread imaginable.

This website will document all of those bread types along with recipes as and when I've made them.

If you're a pizza fan check out my other site Make Some Pizza