Crusty Bread Sticks
This recipe is a follow on to the farmhouse white loaf recipe inspired by Richard Bertinet. I have used exactly the same bread dough and the same method, however I ended up making fantastic crusty bread sticks instead of a baking a loaf.
Richard Bertinett reminded us how important it is to chew our food and crusty bread takes a little longer to chew than the refined soft bread that is widely available. By chewing our food and consuming roughage supports our digestive systems and encourages the right amount of movement when required. I’m sure you get the point I am making. Richard feels just as strong about the crust as he does about the dough,therefore his second book is called “Crust”.
I have used the organic Shipton Mill white flour type 55 with a 10.7% protein content for these little beauties. I met Tom Russell marketing manager from Shipton Mill a few weeks ago at the IFE and as I expected he was passionate and very proud of this pure high quality ingredient. It’s brilliant to meet like minded individuals such as Tom and Richard, makes me feel at home and quite normal.
- 5g fresh yeast
- 250g organic strong white flour, Shipton Mill Type 55
- 5g salt
- 125ml water (125g)
Place the flour in a medium bowl, I prefer a metal round based bowl as it's easy to manoeuvre.
Add the fresh yeast to the flour, rub the yeast into the flour with your fingertips. This stage should take about 3 - 4 minutes, ensure it's rubbed in completely.
Add the salt and mix it into the flour. Never let the salt get in direct contact with the yeast before it's rubbed in as the salt will kill the yeast and your dough will not rise.
Make a well in the flour and add the water. Normal tap water is fine, you do not need to add warm water as the heat from your hands will activate the yeast.
Use a plastic flexible scraper to assist you to work the water into the flour with long folding movements.
Once the water and flour is mixed turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Do not add any extra flour and do not kneed the dough either.
Use folding movements to work the dough. Pull the dough towards you and fold it over, continue these movements for about 6 - 7 minutes. The dough will become smooth, use a flexible plastic scraper to scrape any bits of dough that get stuck to the table.
Once the dough is worked into a smooth ball place the dough into a greased bowl and cover it with a clean tea towel.
Let the dough prove for approximately 40 -45 minutes until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 220°C and grease two bread loaf tins 6" x 4" x 2.5".
Gently turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, use your fingertips to spread the dough, be gentle do not bash the dough as you have worked very hard to work air into the dough. Once the dough is spread into a rectangle, fold the one side over towards the middle followed by the other side. This reinforces the spine or back bone of the dough.
Use the flexible plastic scraper to cut the dough in 1/2" pieces.
Place a small hand full of flour on the work surface and roll each piece of dough with both hands in the opposite direction.
Place each stick on a floured tray. Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake the bread sticks for 15 - 20 minutes.
Place the bread sticks on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Makes approximalty 15 - 20 bread sticks
Food Fanatics Tips
Richard taught us that if you weigh the water instead of using a measuring jug you get a more accurate measurement. Note- Water, either weighed or measured is the same value ( i.e. 100gms is the same as 100mls).