Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sourdough Surprises: Mexicali Grissini

October started off so beautifully. Even with 90 some odd degree weather, the humidity dropped and the breeze made it seem like fall, as much fall as we get in Florida. And then, on the day I planned to make sourdough grissini as part of dinner for this month's Sourdough Surprises, a front comes through and stalls out. Great bread baking weather, right?

But I keep my promises. Besides, I think part of the reason for joining a group like Sourdough Surprises is the challenge. So, on to my grissini.

I'll admit that I was not looking forward to this one. Years ago, when I first started baking with sourdough, one of the first things I tried making were breadsticks. They turned out horribly. I figured we could at least feed them to the fish in the pond by my sister's house. I'm not kidding – the fish wouldn't even eat them. Still, I am up for a challenge.

I knew I wasn't going to be able to do the suggested recipe. For one, my father will not eat olives. We've found by accident he likes a few foods he didn't think he did, but I doubt I could slip that past him. And no way are my mother and I trying to eat them all. For two, my food scale broke years ago (what I get for using it to weigh my parrot) and I never replaced it. Every single sourdough grissini recipe I found called for ingredients by weight, though. So I took EatingWell.Com's grissini recipe, halved and modified for sourdough. With the addition of my filling, of course!

I played around with some ideas, trying to use up some random ingredients. Maple walnut? Chocolate? Then again, I haven't baked anything savory in a while. So I decided against desert. I was pretty sure I wanted to do something Mexican-themed, something I love very much. It took off from there.

For the second time, I cooked with Kraft Mango Chipotle dressing. It's new (there's still no link or mention of it on the Kraft website), so it might be hard to find, but get it if you can. It's delicious as a marinade, as a salad dressing, and as it turns out, a base for my breadstick filling. I think the fruitiness kind of gives it a California flavor – hence calling them “Mexicali”. I mixed that with some taco sauce as my base, sprinkled some cheese on it, and voila!

My Recipe:
Sourdough Mexicali Grissini
Adapted From EatingWell.Com
Makes 12 Grissini
6 oz fresh sourdough starter (A little over 2/3 of a cup, or 1/2 cup plus 2 tblsp)
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting.
1 tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

2 tblsp Kraft Mango Chipotle Dressing
1 tblsp taco sauce
1/2 cup shredded jack cheese (Mine was a combo of Monterrey and Colby Jack)

  1. Mix sourdough starter, about half the flour, salt and oil in a large bowl. Add additional flour until dough is no longer sticky. Knead until smooth and elastic.
  2. Lightly oil a large bowl. Roll dough in oil until coated. Cover and let rise until doubled.
  3. Mix salad dressing and taco sauce.
  4. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, flatten each into a roughly 6”x8” rectangle. Brush with dressing mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Cut each half into 6 strips. Carefully twist and place on baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden

I'd suggest serving them warm out of the oven, but with my family – especially during the week – that's not going to happen. They were still very good a few hours later:

They were a little stale the next day with my lunchtime salad:

Not sure if I'll do this again anytime soon, but it worked out.

Check out our other great grissini:


  1. What an awesome choice of filling - I will have to be on the lookout for that dressing because it sounds delicious and I bet those breadsticks were amazing! And you conquered breadsticks! Hooray!! :) Thanks for baking with us this month and I can't wait to sourdough with you again :)

    1. Thanks...I can't wait for the next challenge!

  2. Mango chipotle? Wow, I can just imagine how good that would taste. No fish food this time! Congrats on successfully making the breadsticks and looking forward to baking with you again next month.
    Oh, and how much did your parrot weigh? :D

    1. Thanks! The bird weighed about 2.5oz...he's a little quaker parrot, not very big, but when they're babies you're supposed to weigh them to make sure they're eating. That didn't last, but he's 6 years old now :-).

  3. Wow~ Your Grissini look really good! The Mango Chipotle Dressing sounds interesting too. In my house we like some heat and if it has the word Chipotle in it, I usually give it a try~

    1. Thanks! My family's from the Buffalo, NY area and I grew up eating chicken wings, so I'm definitely a spicy food lover too. I didn't notice too much heat as a marinade, but it has a definite bite when it's eaten straight.

  4. I like your Mexican themed grissini!

  5. Mm, your Mexicali grissini sound delicious! I love the sound of a fruity chipotle filling.

  6. They look really tasty - I love the sound of that dressing :)

  7. YUM! Those sound so delicious (I definitely need to be on the lookout for that dressing!) Your twists look fantastic, so I am glad you tried them out! I'm so glad that you baked along with us this month! :)