Jeffrey Hamelman’s Sesame Bread Sticks, Mostly

by A.J. Coltrane

They’re only “mostly” Jeffrey Hamelman’s Sesame Bread Sticks because I didn’t have malt syrup in the house, so I substituted honey.

Up close:

151222 bread stick 2

The (scaled) Recipe:  240 g bread flour, 134 g water (56% hydration), 14 g extra virgin olive oil (6%), 7 g honey (3%), 5 g kosher salt (2%). I used 3/4 tsp instant yeast. There are a couple of slight rounding errors, but the percentages are very close to the original formula.

The Process:  Mix all ingredients except the sesame seeds on low speed for 3 minutes, then raise the speed one notch and mix another 5 minutes. Let rest one hour. Portion the dough into “1.33 oz” (~37 gram) pieces and roll each out to 14-16 inches in length. Roll each piece in a moistened cloth, then roll in a tray of sesame seeds to coat. (I wound up with 10 pieces from the 406 gram recipe.)

Bake at 380F for 20 minutes. If at that point the breadsticks aren’t brown and totally crispy, return to the oven at 350F until completely baked.

151222 bread stick

For me, “crispy” took another 10 minutes at 350F. I think that happened because I’d only rolled the breadsticks out to around 12-14″ — I’m guessing they were a little thicker than they were supposed to be.

As for the color:  The photographs make the breadsticks look a bit lighter than they came out in reality. Using malt would have created a darker end product. Sticking with 380F for longer than 20 minutes might have helped too.

Overall the recipe (in Hamelman’s book “Bread”) is very clear and concise. Right now I’m leaning towards continuing with “Bread” as my main resource for a while.

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