Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Woah! That was spicy...

As I talked about earlier, I've been meaning to expand on making different types of bread. I was looking for something that was a little different and fun for today.

Twisted Fennel and Coarse Salt Breadsticks has a unique crunchy coating of coarse salt and fennel seeds. In the dough itself, cornmeal is used to add a good contrast in texture to the soft sticks. I used a more coarse cornmeal rather than fine to bump up the crunch some. The dough is soft and is very workable so it keeps the design of the twists well. The fennel seeds add a delicate and subtle licorice-like flavor. These are so good plain, but I could see serving these with a dip or marinara to change it up.

My mouth is still on fire from dinner tonight, but that is a good thing! Tonight we had Tex-Mex Chipotle Pitas and this is where I used the habanero and lime salsa. This came together so fast - from start to finish it was ready to eat in under 15 minutes. If you don't like things too spicy, I would use mild salsa instead. Even though we used a hotter salsa, I did decide to keep the
jalapeƱo in the recipe as we really have started to like the flavor they give (that is something I thought I would never say!) The cumin adds a subtle musty/earthy flavor and if you can, use fresh ground cumin seeds as they have so much more flavor. You could serve this in a roll, but I really love the texture of whole wheat pitas and this filled them up nicely.


  1. Wow! Sounds like a winner to me! I will have to see if I can find some salsa like that around here.

  2. Joe, those bread twists look gorgeous!

    And that salsa sounds great too- maybe a little warm for my taste, but habenero and lime just can't be bad.

  3. I can't wait to make the tex mex pita! This looks so up my alley. Thank you again for showing me another great recipe!!

  4. The breadsticks do look wonderful!! I've really been enjoying fennel seeds in my bread lately...I didn't think I liked fennel much...but the seeds are awesome in bread...I think I'm coming around. :)

  5. hi Desert Dessert man! aha!
    I tried the TJ's papadum chips - yum. thanks for the tip. And your cupcakes on your new rack look just fab. I didn't know they made a rack just for cupcakes. (but then again I bake like once a year) Speaking of coconut (I'm thinking about your cupcakes again) look for the chunks of "young coconut" in the TJ's nuts section. I saw this item today for the first time - you might be able to do something clever with it. Your bread twists look wonderful - i would be so scared to try bread like that. actually, let me be more specific, i have never baked a bread!!! isn't that dumb? maybe i should get over it for 2006.

  6. your breadsticks look nice. Very uniform shape. I'm not sure about fennel seed tho, it just doesn't appeal to me, but then again I think that's probably fear of the unknown lol

  7. that's because u r succumbing to the chilli. You do realise there is no going back!

  8. Hi Joe - I agree, these twisted breadsticks look really gorgeous - very uniform and professional looking! I'm not a huge fan of fennel thou, but I guess I could use caraway instead.

  9. Michelle - The salsa was excellent - I'm very happy we tried it.

    Erika - Thanks! It was pretty spicy...

    Heather - Let me know if you try it out!

    Alice - I was really unsure of the fennel flavor - but it worked quite well!

    EO - Glad you tried them! They had another flavor we are probably going to try. I've seen that coconut there but i'm waiting for my supply to get a little lower before I buy more, I don't go through it fast enough!

    Culinarily - Thanks! I thought about leaving it off or replacing the seeds but I'm glad we left it on. It is a nice contrast.

    Clare - Hee hee! Ugh, you are so right!

    Pille - Thanks! Caraway would be great too!

  10. The pictures are absolutely stunning. And I love fennel. Of course, I'm initimidated by how professional yours looks.

    Thanks for sharing