Semolina Grissini – Italian Style Crunchy Breadsticks

semolina grissini n

Crunchy, savory sticks ready to be eaten plain, wrapped in prosciutto, or dipped in any savory sauce imagined. In addition to the rich flavor extra virgin olive oil provides, our grissini were peppered with black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, smoked rock salt, and charnushka.

semolina grissini in red bowl n

Grissini make a fabulous edible table centerpiece, and they are a cool prop to animate your dinner conversations!

Grissini, Italian-style crisp breadsticks, have long been on my list to make. They are a tasty and fun addition to so many meals. Imagine a romantic Italian meal where grissini are centered on the table alongside tapered lit candlesticks. How about enjoying grissini with a meal of crispy salad and hearty minestrone? The list could go on.

Any type of herbs or spices could be kneaded or pressed into the dough before baking. I experimented with poppy seeds, black sesame seeds, rock salt and charnushka. The smoked rock salt was the clear winner in the flavor category, but charnushka was a close second. If you haven’t experimented with this seed yet, now is the time. Charnushka has a moderately nutty, smoky, peppery flavor that I first enjoyed on one version of everything bagels. They worked perfectly on the grissini.

Semolina Grissini


  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/43 degrees C)
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups semolina flour
  • 2 tsp toppings of your choice (smoked rock salt, poppy seeds, charnushka, etc.)
  • additional extra virgin olive oil for brushing on sticks before they bake


  1. Stir water, sugar and yeast together in a large bowl. Let sit for about 5 minutes to ensure your yeast is bubbling and active.
  2. Stir in olive oil.
  3. Add 1/2 of both flours and the salt. Mix well.
  4. Stir in 1/2 of remaining flour.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. Knead in the rest of the flour. Continue kneading until dough is smooth and flour is well-incorporated, about 5 minutes. Dough will have a slightly coarse texture due to the semolina flour.
  7. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl. Turn to coat.
  8. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free location until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Cut the dough into 24 equal pieces.
  10. Roll each piece into dough sticks, about 12 inches long, or the length of your baking sheet.
  11. Brush both sides of dough sticks generously with olive oil.
  12. Press in toppings, if desired.
  13. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  14. Place 6 dough sticks on parchment-lined baking sheet.
  15. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip sticks over and bake for 5 more minutes. Sticks should be lightly browned and crispy.
  16. Repeat with remaining dough, baking batches of 6.