Salty black olive breadsticks.

Recently, Rob and I enjoyed a lovely happy hour experience while traveling, with great wine and tasty nibbles. I sort of embarrassed myself by returning to the hors d’oeuvre bar repeatedly for Just. One. More. Breadstick.

Long and thin, these breadsticks were pleasantly salty and flecked with black olive. They were an ideal component of a cheese board, alongside flatbread crackers and small slices of raisin-nut bread.

Homemade breadsticks are so darn easy to make, that I decided I’d try to come up with a black olive breadstick recipe to replicate the ones I couldn’t stop munching. (For variety’s sake, also try this easy recipe for homemade cheese straws—basically, the same idea.)

If black olives don’t float your boat, you could easily swap in 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Or a couple of tablespoons of minced fresh herbs. Or a very generous grind of black pepper.

The dough is very easy to work with, and these savory breadsticks bake up light and crisp.

salty black olive breadsticks recipe

(makes about 30)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup pitted black olives
3 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1/2 cup ice water (plus more if needed)
olive oil and coarse salt for finishing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, whirl the flour, salt and baking powder to combine. Add the black olives and pulse until they're finely chopped into the dry ingredients. Add the shortening and pulse several times, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 1/2 cup of ice water and pulse repeatedly until the dough comes together in large clumps (add water 1 teaspoon at a time if the dough is too dry). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a rectangle about 8 in. by 10 in. and 1/4 in. thick. Use a ruler and a pizza cutter to cut 1/4-in.-wide strips. Roll each strip into a thin stick about 16 in. long. On a large piece of parchment paper, line the strips up right next to each other; drizzle with olive oil (smear it around with your fingertips) and sprinkle with coarse salt. Transfer the sticks to 2 large baking sheets, placing them about 1/2 in. apart. Bake for 20–22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the sticks are dry and lightly golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store at room temperature for 3–4 days.

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