I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Friday afternoon we got a 7 month old puppy to watch for 10 days and boy is she a ball of energy! I feel like taking a nap seeing her run around so much. She’s super lovable and has a great personality with the sweetest face you can’t help but love.

Saturday I attended my first casserole swap party. This is a great idea for anyone who has a busy schedule and needs some new ideas of things to make. I’ll be posting my recipe on Wednesday, but today I’m posting a bread stick I made to take to the party as well. There where a lot of really tasty dishes to try and they where all so different. I can’t wait to make a couple of these to freeze for the hubby to take to work.

I felt like I hit the buffet jackpot. We each brought a frozen casserole to swap and one ready to eat so we could taste test. Here’s my plate:

After dinner Laura made a pound cake with a lavender lemon curd. This was delish!

I made these Grissini for the party and they came out pretty well. I had to bake them a little longer then listed to get them dry and more crispy, but they tasted great.

(Adapted from John Barricelli’s SoNo Baking Company Cookbook)

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1 1/2 cups warm water
1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating
Semolina flour, for dusting

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water and yeast; let stand until frothy, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose flour and salt; make a well in the center.

Pour yeast mixture into well along with remaining 1 1/4 cups water, honey, and oil.
Using a plastic bowl scraper, gradually pull the flour into the wet ingredients, folding to mix, until a soft dough forms.
Knead the dough for 5 minutes by folding the dough over itself while turning the bowl. Scrape the dough out onto work surface.
Wash and dry the bowl. Coat bottom of bowl with olive oil. Return dough to bowl and turn to coat.
Cover dough with a piece of olive oil coated plastic wrap.
Let stand in a warm place until volume has increased by 1 1/2 to 2 times the size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside. Sprinkle work surface generously with semolina flour so that it covers an area of about 4 by 25 inches.

Place dough on prepared work surface and stretch it out to about 4 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick, to cover semolina. If the dough gives you trouble stretching, let relax for 20 minutes and try again. Sprinkle top of dough with more semolina flour.

Using a ruler and a pastry cutter, cut dough into pieces that are 4 inches long by 1/2 inch wide.

Holding one end of a piece of dough in each hand, stretch it out to the length of the baking sheet by twirling it gently.

Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Repeat process to form all of the breadsticks.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until soft and puffy, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees with a rack set in the center of oven. (Before I put them in the oven I sprinkled a little sea salt on them and a few of them with some pepper. I put a little too much salt so make sure you don’t over do it.)
Bake one sheet at a time, rotating the sheet two-thirds of the way through, until breadsticks are dry and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For tomato grissini, dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste in the 1 1/4 cups water before adding to the flour mixture in step 2.

For herb grissini, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of desired fresh chopped herbs to the flour and salt in step 2, before adding the wet ingredients.

For black pepper grissini, add 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper to the flour and salt in step 2, before adding the wet ingredients.

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