According to legend, grissini were invented in 17th-century Turin as an easy-to-digest foodstuff. Napoleon is said to have had a penchant for their crisp deliciousness. This version will make you a convert, too.
Crunchy Piedmontese Breadsticks
According to legend, these crisp breadsticks, called grissini in Italian, were invented in 17th-century Turin and counted Napoleon among their aficionados.
Yield: makes 30
4 cups "00" flour (Italian style flour)
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 (7-gram) package active dry yeast
Put flour, oil, sugar, salt, yeast, and 1 1⁄3 cups water into a large bowl and stir well to combine (the mixture should be sticky). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to let rest for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°. Form dough into thirty 1 1⁄2"-wide balls (each about 1 oz.). Working with 1 ball of dough at a time (keep others covered with a towel), roll and stretch dough into a 16" rope. Transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheets as done, keeping the ropes about 1" apart. Bake until light golden brown and crisp, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to let cool.