Herby homemade breadsticks, scattered generously with sea salt, make an impressive addition to any cheese board or crudités platter.
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
7g fast-action dried yeast
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
300ml lukewarm water
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
Fine polenta for dusting
Sea salt flakes to scatter
01.Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl, stir in the oil and water, then bring together into a dough, first with a palette knife, then your hands. Tip the dough onto a lightly flour-dusted surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic (or knead in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 8 minutes).
02.Knead the herbs into the dough, then put in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
03.Knock the dough back in the bowl to distribute the air, then turn out onto a surface dusted with polenta and roll out into a rectangle about 30cm x 45cm. Halve the rectangle widthways using a sharp knife, then cut into strips, around 30cm x 2cm wide. Roll into stick shapes, then put on 2 baking sheets, scattered with more polenta. Leave somewhere warm to puff up/prove for 20 minutes. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
04.Brush breadsticks with oil and scatter with sea salt. Bake for 14-16 minutes. Serve cool or warm with dips or cheese.