“As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.” Ann Voskamp
My body is tired but my heart is full as we step into this Thanksgiving week, which around here is the week my friend Jackie got married (yesterday!), the week of my dad’s birthday (tomorrow!), the week before The Einkorn Cookbook comes out and, also notably in blog terms, the week we’re going to a virtual Friendsgiving and bringing these breadsticks topped with J.Q. Dickinson salt. Today’s post, with a recipe adapted from our cookbook that comes out a week from today, is part of a series of posts happening this week where bloggers are all bringing something to the table that features this artisanal, hand-harvested salt made in West Virginia. And after a hectic summer and fall where blogging was on the back burner most of the time, I’m thankful to have more moments to spend in the kitchen making things like these, and to get to come share photos and thoughts about them with you here.
I love a good slice or piece of bread, as was evidenced by the loaf of ancient grains I carried in my bridesmaid bag yesterday, and these breadsticks are not only that, but they are also a little fancified with their long, slim shapes and pretty dustings of rosemary and salt. They’re best fresh out of the oven, which is when I have no problem eating four or five at a time. For a dinner party, it’d be ideal to bake them just before your friends arrive. But whether you make these for a random Monday or a holiday table, I hope you’ll try them because they’re simple and salty and such a nice accompaniment to any meal.
The past few months while we’ve been blogging less, there’s been a lot of discussion in the online world about blogging, the value of blogging, the burnout of blogging, the sustainability of continuing to write and publish posts for years or even decades of time. Maybe you’ve seen some of it. I understand the different sides of the argument—the readers who feel they’re owed something for consistently tuning in and turning little sites into huge ones, the writers who feel they cannot keep up with this demand for constant New while also working jobs and raising kids and trying to maintain some privacy—and for what it’s worth I just wanted to share our current view on this space.
When I think of the blog, I feel grateful, both for a place to practice and for the gifts that have come as a result of that habit. I don’t feel pressure—not to make everyone happy, not to live up to a certain standard, not to keep up with anyone or any trend or any award-giving entity that tells us we’re doing a good job. If you ask me how many readers we have, I won’t know. I do know we have good readers, the kind who are wiling to read rambling stories and strong opinions alongside recipes for real foods, and that we’re thankful for every chance to touch their lives and let their lives touch ours. I also know that asking how many readers we have has always felt to me like the wrong question. I see great value in meaningful connection, the kind that brings would-be strangers together on Thanksgiving week to make foods with a common theme, to support a company with a worthy mission and product like J.Q. Dickinson’s salt (and I hope you’ll read more about them below). But really I see great value in people, whether they are bloggers or not. So our thoughts on blogging or not blogging are that we want this blog to always, ever, be a place that pushes towards that which is meaningful and away from that which is not, a place where we get to add value to the lives of people who come here and show friends and strangers small kinds of love.
Salted Rosemary Einkorn Breadsticks
Makes 13 to 16 long breadsticks
Adapted from The Einkorn Cookbook
for the breadsticks:
1 cup (235 ml) warm water (100 to 100°F [37 to 43° C])
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons [9g]) active dry yeast
4 teaspoons (18g) coconut sugar, or honey, divided
3 1/2 cups (438g) all-purpose einkorn flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 tablespoons (42g) butter, cold and cubed
Olive oil, for oiling bowl and as needed
for the topping:
1 to 2 tablespoons salt
1 to 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast and 1 teaspoon coconut sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes in a warm place, until frothy and bubbly. Stir in einkorn flour, remaining sugar, salt and rosemary, until mixture becomes a floppy, haggard dough. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or two forks; the dough will not look or behave like pie dough, so you’re not shooting for the butter to be small pebbles throughout; rather, cut in the butter until all of its pieces are broken up and small, spread throughout, quickly and lazily. Form mixture into ball, kneading and working it together right in the bowl, about 2 or 3 minutes. If the dough seems to dry to bring together, keep kneading and add a little bit of water or olive oil if necessary; if it seems too wet, add a little bit of flour. Place soft ball of dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Pinch off 2” balls of dough, and roll them into 10” long logs that are roughly one-inch-thick. Place logs on parchment paper.
Sprinkle rosemary and salt on top of breadsticks and bake for about 15 minutes, until crisp and golden. Serve warm.
Breadsticks are best eaten fresh but may be kept in an airtight container for up to a day.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.