March’s recipe was for Mexican breadsticks for which you have to make two types of dough and twist them together to achieve the striped pattern. I really enjoyed making my own dough as normally it is something I struggle with and turns out rubbish. However, the dough for this recipe worked out well! We ate the breadsticks with this amazing avocado aioli; the freshness of the dip matched the spicyness of the breadsticks perfectly.
- 90g cornmeal plus extra for dusting
- 370g strong white bread flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 5g (1 tsp) fast-action dried yeast
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 4 tsp virgin olive oil
- 300ml lukewarm water
- 100g drained sliced jalopeno chillies (from a jar)
Put the cornmeal, flour, salt and yeast into a bowl and mix thoroughly with your hand. Tip half of the mixture into another bowl and add the chilli powder, cumin, both paprikas and the garlic and onion powders. Mix well. Make a well in the dry ingredients in each bowl.
Add half the oil and the water to one bowl and mix to a soft but not sticky dough. Sprinkle the worktop and your hands with cornmeal, then turn out the dough and knead it thoroughly for about 5 mins until very smooth and elastic. Return it to the bowl and cover the top with clingfilm. Repeat all this for the other bowl. Leave the 2 doughs to rise in a warm spot for about an hour until doubled in size.
Towards the end of the rising, heat your oven to 180C. Chop the chillies finely. Put them on a clean tea towel and squeeze them dry.
Sprinkle the cornmeal on your worktop. Place the white dough on this and sprinkle it with a little cornmeal. Roll out to a rectangle about 18 x 16 cm and 1 cm thick. Cover the dough evenly with the chopped chillies and gently press them into the dough. Roll out the dark pink dough to a rectangle exactly the same size as the white one, then set it on top and gently press the 2 doughs together.
Roll out the layered dough to a rectangle 36 x 20 cm and 5 mm thick. Using pizza wheel-cutter or a large sharp knife, cut the rectangle in half to make 2 pieces each 36 x 10 cm. Cut each piece across into strips 2 cm wide and 10 cm long.
One at a time, roll each strip with your hands back and forth on the worktop to make a thin pencil shape about 25 cm long. Twist the strip to give a striped candy-cane effect, then roll in a little extra cornmeal. As the breadsticks are shaped, set them slightly apart on baking sheets.
Once they are all shaped, place in the heated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and crisp; give the baking sheets a little shake halfway through the baking time so the breadsticks turn over slightly. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.