Grissini are generally pencil-sized sticks of crisp, dry baked bread that originated in Italy. They are made with a simple pizza crust-like dough that’s heavy on the olive oil, which gives it its flavor and texture and helps to create a very easy-to-work with, pliable dough. You can purchase pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store to make grissini, but this homemade dough is so quick and simple to put together, you can easily whip up a batch quickly!

For a fantastic Halloween treat we’ve added activated charcoal to our recipe for a deliciously creepy breadstick that resembles skeletal bones. As an alternative to charcoal, you can also use a packet of squid ink that will give you a darker grey/black color. We dressed up our Halloween bone breadsticks with black sesame seeds, nigella, and smoked salt.

Print Recipe
Halloween Grissini Breadsticks
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer add the quarter cup of warm water, sprinkling the yeast on top (you don’t have to mix them together). Let the magic happen – leave the bowl in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until the mix becomes frothy.
  2. Add the flour, olive oil, activated charcoal (or squid ink packets), and remaining water in the bowl. Mix on low speed until ingredients are completely incorporated and the resulting dough is smooth. You’ll know when it’s done when the dough sticks to the hook, not to the sides of the bowl.
  3. Very lightly flour your work surface and briefly knead the dough to form a ball. Oil the mixing bowl and place the dough back inside. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a plate and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. Once the dough has doubled preheat your oven to 350°.
  4. Shaping. You’re probably going to want to work in batches: remove half the dough from the bowl and roll it out to form something resembling a rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut thin strips about 10-12” long, keeping in mind the size of your baking tray. Roll the strips on your work surface (you may need to lightly flour your hands) until you have a more cylindrical shape. They don’t have to be perfect…in fact they look better a little wonky. Your breadsticks should be about pencil thin for a crisp breadstick. For an authentic "bone" shape, hold the tip of your breadstick about 1" from the end with two fingers. With your other hand, use your index finger to push down creating a nub at each end. You can shape the ends more by hand to resemble the bones epiphysis, just don't make the ends too thick or they won't bake evenly.
  5. Place your formed breadsticks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. To get the blackest black use a spray bottle filled with water to mist the breadsticks– this will take care of any residual flour that may have been on your work surface. This will also help the sesame seeds, nigella and salt stick to the breadstick, if using.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. You’re probably thinking, how can you tell when black dough is done? First off, when overcooked they will still turn dark brown like burnt toast. You essentially want to bake the breadsticks until there is no residual moisture. They should feel very light and snap right out of the oven. Bake for 5-10 additional minutes if not quite done. Alternatively, if after baking you feel a few pieces were not quite baked enough, place them back in the oven with the door slightly ajar to suck out any last moisture.
  7. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire racks.