These crispy vegan breadsticks, sprinkled with flavourings, are delicious with soups and dips. They make perfect, lovingly baked, gifts for friends and family. Wrap them in pretty ribbons and seasonal fabric and they are sure to bring a smile!
This recipe satisfies all my kitchen fantasies. I love the rhythm of kneading, the quiet wait for proving, the promise of a treat to come. They fill the house with the wonderful smell of fresh bread baking then they emerge from the oven all crisp and rustic and ready for nibbling. I could, quite frankly, just chomp my way through a whole batch of these in one sitting but I will share them, if I have to.
This recipe in various guises has been part of my parental armoury since my children were big enough to start grabbing and chewing. They are:
- Essential on lazy summer days with a selection of antipasti and dips.
- Perfect as canapes on the Christmas buffet table.
- Fabulous in picnic baskets and lunchboxes.
- Indispensable as after school snacks dunked in hummus.
People are always really impressed by homemade bread making but bread recipes don’t get much simpler than this one. You can make it even easier by leaving them plain or by just choosing one topping for your breadsticks instead of four. I made this batch on a chilly November day when my thoughts were turning towards the festive season ahead. They are an easy addition to a homemade hamper or just tie handfuls together with ribbon as gifts for teachers or neighbours.
In theory these homemade vegan breadsticks keep really well in a tin for a day or two. In practice they are here and gone in minutes and rarely make it as far as the tin! If you want to give them away make sure you stretch them until they are fairly thin so they stay crisp for longer and give them to your lucky recipient as soon as possible after baking.
Tips to Make Vegan Breadsticks
- Yeast: I use fast action yeast for my breadsticks because it is quick and reliable.
- Glaze and Glue: In my vegetarian days I brushed the top of my grissini breadsticks with beaten egg as a glaze and to stop the toppings from just jumping ship. Now that I am vegan I use either a plant based milk or, as here, aquafaba – that magic liquid from a can of chickpeas. Chickpea liquid makes excellent baking glue – who knew?!
Toppings and Flavourings
You can, of course, just leave these crispy breadsticks plain and they will be absolutely delicious! Because I was making mine with gifts in mind I decided to divide my dough into four pieces, all with a different topping. I thought this would make for a far more interesting gift parcel for my beloveds. Which it would have, if we hadn’t eaten the whole batch ourselves! I was just testing…honest!
My plump and pillowy vegan breadsticks dough is topped with (clockwise from top left)
- Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- Ground Sumac
- Cumin Seeds
- Poppy Seeds
You could also top them with:
- Dried Chilli Flakes
- Fresh Thyme Leaves
- Freshly Ground Sea Salt
- Sesame Seeds
Or any of your favourite flavours!
Breadsticks are so versatile!
- Try them dunked in my Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup or broken into crunchy pieces as croutons on this Celeriac and Apple Soup.
- Pop them into a lunchbox with some apple pieces, a pot of hummus and some vegan sausage rolls.
- Serve them on the Christmas buffet table alongside a selection of canapés like these aubergine involtini.
- Dip them into mushroom pâté or roasted red pepper dip and smooth guacamole.
- 450 g strong white bread flour
- 2 tsp fast action yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 250 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ground sumac
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp aquafaba liquid from a can of chickpeas or plant based milk
- Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the olive oil and lukewarm water.
- Stir to combine, use your hands to draw everything together to a rough dough.
- Add a little more water if the dough seems too dry but try not to add too much, you are after crispy breadsticks not doughy ones!
- Turn out on to a lightly floured board and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Alternatively mix in a stand mixer, on low, with dough hook attached until you have a smooth dough.
- Roll out into a rectangle measuring approximately 30cm x 15cm (12" x 6")
- Leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour and a half until risen and pillowy.
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Lightly flour 3 baking trays.
- Divide dough into 4 pieces.
- Brush each piece with aquafaba or plant milk and sprinkle each piece with a topping.
- Divide each piece into 8 strips. I use a pizza wheel to do this.
- Gently pull each strip until they are roughly the same length. You can stretch them to make breadsticks as wide as your trays just try to keep them an even width to prevent skinny middles from cooking too quickly!
- Place on prepared baking trays and bake for about 20 minutes until golden and crisp.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.