Sage Bread Sticks (Grissini alla Salvia)
- 2 1/2 tsp. (1 package) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. dried sage, finely crumbled
- 1/3 cup olive oil
In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the salt and the sage. Add the yeast mixture and the olive oil. Stir until a soft dough that holds its shape forms, about 2 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If the dough feels sticky, knead in flour as needed.
Oil a large bowl, place the dough in it and turn it once to coat the top. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured kneading board. Punch down, then cut into 4 equal quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, cut the dough into 18 pieces. Keep the remaining quarters covered with plastic wrap. Using your palms, and working with one piece at a time, roll out the dough to form a rope 10 inches long. Place the ropes 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake until crisp and browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough quarters. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.