Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Lavender Breadsticks

This recipe's inspired by these delicious lavender breadsticks I had on a recent press trip to Germany's wine regions, and the bread recipe itself is adapted from the wonderful Ballymaloe Bread Book...lavender may sound like an odd flavouring for bread, but it's surprisingly delicate in taste, and just fragrant enough to make these sticks ideal for dipping in honey, or served alongside a summery goat's cheese salad. I start this the night before baking the breadsticks - it seems like less hassle, after all you don't want to spend half the day baking breadsticks!
  • 340g strong white flour
  • 25g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 packet fast-acting yeast or 10g fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 175-200ml lukewarm water
  • handful fresh lavender, finely chopped
In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt and then rub in the butter. Stir the yeast and sugar together in a small cup (the yeast should foam slightly, this is a sign it's active)
Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the yeast, oil and most of water, mix to a loose dough. Add more water or flour as needed - it shouldn't be too dry, but if it's really sticky and wet it will be difficult to knead

Relax the dough for 5 mins, then knead for 10 mins until smooth and the dough springs back when poked, add the lavender before shaping into balls, chill overnight in a lightly oiled plastic bag - the dough will be easier to handle the next day when cold

When you're ready to bake the breadsticks, preheat oven to 220ºC, take your dough out of the fridge and knock back for 30 seconds.  Roll the dough into a rectangle and cut into 1cm strips. Sprinkle some seasalt (and cracked black pepper if you wish) on a tray and roll each stick, twisting back and forth to cover the sticks with seasoning

Place each breadstick on a lightly floured baking sheet, don't worry if they look a bit wonky and mis-shaped, they're not meant to be perfect.  Bake 8-12 mins until golden brown andcrisp. Cool on wire rack, or serve whilst warm with a light goat's cheese salad or dip in honey for an indulgent treat...


Fiona Beckett said...

Mmmm. Love the idea of serving these with goats' cheese. Great idea!

Signe Johansen: said...

the lavender goes surprisingly well with goat's cheese, try them and let me know what you think...I wonder if lemon verbena would work?