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Smoky Black Pepper Grissini

Hands-on time 37 mins
Total time 2 hrs
Yield Serves16 (serving size: 1 breadstick)
These crunchy breadsticks get their flavor inspiration from beef jerky—pepper-spicy and smoky and downright addictive. You’ll need to smoke (yes, smoke!) the flour first, which is easier to do than you might think. I adore this smoking technique and call for it a few times in this book. Why? First, because it’s fast and easy. More importantly, smoking is my go-to when I want to create big, intense flavor without adding a single calorie, fat gram, or speck of sodium. It should be a tool in every healthy cook’s arsenal. This tasty appetizer would be the perfect addition of crunch on your next cheese board.


  • 6.3 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1/3 cup apple or cherry wood chips
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water (100° to 110°F)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cooking spray

Nutrition Information

  • calories 59
  • fat 2.9 g
  • satfat 0.4 g
  • monofat 1.9 g
  • polyfat 0.4 g
  • protein 1 g
  • carbohydrate 8 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • sugars 0 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g
  • cholesterol 0 mg
  • iron 0 mg
  • sodium 120 mg
  • calcium 4 mg

How to Make It

  1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Pierce 10 holes on one side of the bottom of a 13 x 9–inch heavy-duty disposable aluminum foil pan. Arrange wood chips over holes inside pan. Spread flour onto far opposite side of pan. Place hole side of pan over stovetop burner. Turn burner on high. When wood chips start to smoke, carefully cover pan with foil. Turn burner on medium-high; cook 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; uncover pan, reserving foil. Carefully remove wood chips with tongs; place on foil. Wipe any wood fragments out with a damp paper towel.
  2. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in oil. Add smoked fl our, pepper, and salt; mix on low speed with dough hook until just combined. Beat on medium-low speed with dough hook 5 minutes. Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°F), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Punch dough down; divide into 16 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll into a 14- to 15-inch rope (should not need floured surface for this); place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. Bake at 350°F for 27 to 28 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Cook's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice;