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Appetizers, Breads

Salt-and-pepper breadsticks

Thanksgiving traditions vary from one house to another, but there is one that's universal: At some point while you're fixing dinner, you will look around and realize that every single soul you've invited is standing in your kitchen. Whether they're ... Read more

Total time: 1 1/2 hours | Serves 8
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1 egg white, beaten

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grind the peppercorns, allspice and salt in a spice grinder until fine.

Step 2Tear off a piece of pizza dough about the size of a golf ball. Pat it flat and dust with flour on both sides. Run the dough between the rollers of a pasta machine set on the widest setting. Repeat 2 more times, dusting with more flour only to keep dough from sticking. The dough should feel fairly smooth. If it doesn't, narrow the setting a notch and run it through once more. The dough sheet may seem short, but the breadsticks will stretch in the cutting and baking.

Step 3Cut the dough into thin strips by running it through the wide fettuccine cutter of the pasta maker. Arrange the strips on a nonstick baking sheet. The pasta machine might not cut the strips completely. Don't worry, this is a rustic presentation -- just pull off one strip at a time. Vary the way you arrange the strips -- straight, wavy, hooked or with a circle at the top.

Step 4Brush the strips lightly with the egg white; don't flatten them. Sprinkle generously with spice mixture.

Step 5Bake until the breadsticks are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Because they are so thin, they will cook very irregularly. Turn the baking sheet to encourage more even baking.

Step 6 Let the sticks cool 2 or 3 minutes. Arrange them standing straight up in a big juice glass.

Note: This is based on a technique I learned from cookbook author Judy Zeidler. You'll use only a portion of the spicing mixture; store the rest in a tightly covered container and use it to season roasted or grilled meat. You can also use various seeds, such as sesame or cracked fennel.
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