The addition of crispy smoked bacon to these simple breadsticks takes them to a whole new level, making them perfect to serve warm with a bowl of soup, or to pack up as part of a packed lunch or picnic. Alyn Williams' recipe is a perfect addition to any baking repertoire.
It is always a pleasing moment when a talented apprentice steps out and succeeds on their own terms. After working as Head Chef at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley for 5 years, Alyn Williams has done exactly that; taking over the Westbury in the autumn of 2011 and quickly winning a Michelin star.
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Lay the bacon on a baking tray and cook under the grill until crisp on both sides. Remove and drain on paper towel. Once cool, chop into small pieces and set aside
4 slices of smoked streaky bacon
On a clean work surface, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Make a mound with a well in the centre
135g of strong plain flour
4g of salt
4g of sugar
5g of Parmesan
In a bowl, mix the warm water with the yeast and olive oil, stir with a spoon until the yeast has dissolved
50ml of warm water
12g of dried yeast
30ml of olive oil
Pour the warm liquid into the middle of the well and gradually incorporate the flour to mix evenly
Shape into a large dough ball, then shape into a flat disc and sprinkle in the bacon. Fold the disc in half and then fold in half again. Knead until the dough is smooth and springy - add more flour if it is too sticky
Cut the dough into even quarters and cut each quarter into 4 pieces
Roll each piece of dough into long, thin breadsticks and carefully lift onto a baking tray
Brush the dough with milk and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes to rise slightly
2 tbsp of milk, for brushing
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the breadsticks are a deep golden brown colour
Remove the breadsticks from the tray and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm
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