18 January 2019

OLIVE OIL MASCARPONE GRISSINI

Mascarpone, a delicious Italian cheese, is widely popular for its use in desserts such as Tiramisu or cheesecakes; but mascarpone has its use in savoury recipes, as well. It is very creamy and mild in flavour, making it perfect for recipes such as this one. The ingredients are humble, but once baked, these grissini are amazingly delicious, especially dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Although I have been making them this size for years, they are quite easy to be adjusted to your needs. You can make them larger, by dividing the dough into ten or less pieces, making them proper, restaurant-style grissini. Just be mindful of the baking time so they remain soft. The very best way to serve these breadsticks is, of course, with dips or as canapés with all cheese-based sauces, or as a simple, flavourful snack.


Ingredients
100 grams Mascarpone cheese
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
100 ml warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon dry yeast
250 grams plain flour
20 grams salted butter, for brushing

Preparation
Place the mascarpone into a medium bowl, add in the salt and the olive oil, and mix very well, until combined. Pour in the warm water, and blend it well. Sift the flour into a large bowl, sprinkle in the yeast, and mix well. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients until a shaggy dough forms. The dough should be soft, yet it shouldn't stick to your hands. If it does, add another tablespoon or so of flour. Flour your work surface well, transfer the dough and knead it by hand for about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a smooth ball, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rest for about 30 minutes. Once the dough has rested, transfer it to a floured surface and knead it for a minute or two, just to make it elastic.
Divide the dough by weight into 20 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a log shape, about a centimetre in diameter. Arrange them on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper, making sure you leave enough space between them. Cover with a kitchen towel, then tightly in cling film, and place them into the refrigerator to rise slowly, overnight. Next morning, take them out of the refrigerator an hour before baking, so the dough can come to room temperature and rise a tad more. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 200°C (400°F) for about 12-15 minutes. As soon as you take them out of the oven, brush them with butter so they are nice and soft when they cool. Yields 20 grissini.

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