Kritsinia are Greek-style sesame breadsticks. You will find them in every bakery throughout Greece. They’re crisp and delicious and can be served sweet or savory.
These tasty breadsticks are usually enjoyed with a cup of coffee and a slice of cheese (kefalotyri) for breakfast. I also love to serve them with soup and salad. They’re perfect for dipping!
Are Kritsinia Crispy or Soft?
I always make 2 different sizes each time I bake a batch. The larger breadsticks are soft on the inside and crisp on the outside, and the other half are made thinner and a bit smaller in size. As a result, they end up crispy. I also leave half plain (no sesame seeds) and the rest with the sesame seeds. We’ve got lots of different taste buds around here…
On my last shopping trip to Costco (my favorite grocery store), I picked up a jar of “Everything Bagel Seasoning” and decided to use it to coat my Kritsinia. This is a wonderful savory option. This seasoning is very simple to make if you have all of the ingredients at home.
You will need:
- Sesame seeds
- Poppy seeds
- Granulated garlic powder
- Granulated onion powder
Combine the ingredients together and Voila! Homemade “Everything Bagel Seasoning” will be ready.
I usually brush these Greek breadsticks with a combination of Petimezi, grape molasses, and water. This mixture helps the sesame seeds stick to the dough. Feel free to substitute pomegranate molasses or even honey.
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Once the breadsticks are baked, the softer ones can be kept in the refrigerator (in an airtight container) for 4-5 days. Toast them in the oven right before serving. However, the crisp smaller breadsticks should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
In short, once you make these breadsticks and your fear of bread-baking disappears, be sure to try these recipes as well:
- Greek Sesame Breadrings (koulouria Thessaloniki’s)
- Feta Cheese Stuffed Breadrings (Tirokoulura)
- Lagana Greek Flatbread
For the starter:
- • 1 and ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- • 1 and ½ cups of tepid water
Remaining Dough Ingredients:
- • 2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
- • 2 cups (320 grams) bread flour
- • 1 teaspoon salt
- • ¼ cup olive oil
For the liquid coating:
- • 3 tablespoons Petimezi (grape molasses), Pomegranate molasses, or honey
- • ¼ cup of water
- • ¾ cup white sesame seeds
- • ½ cup black sesame seeds
- • Substitute: everything bagel seasoning
- In the bowl of a tabletop mixer that is fitted with the dough hook attachment add all of the starter ingredients and whisk together with a fork. Set aside for 8-10 minutes. Once a foamy cloud forms on the surface of the liquid, the yeast is active.
- Combine the bread and all-purpose flour along with the salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Add all of the flour mixture to the mixer along with the olive oil. Knead on low speed for 8-10 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Toss to coat and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside in the warmest part of your home until doubled in volume. About 1 and ½ - 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F, 200 °C.
- Punch the dough down and place it on a clean work surface. Cut it into 4 equal portions.
- Note: To make the larger breadsticks, cut each portion of dough into 4 to end up with 16 portions of dough.
- To make the smaller (crisper) breadsticks, cut the dough into 32 portions (each portion into 8 equal pieces).
- Roll each portion of dough into a 12-inch-long rope and place the ropes on baking trays lined with parchment paper. There should be room between each rope so that they bake evenly. They will rise a little bit in the oven.
- Combine the molasses with water in a small bowl and mix together.
- Brush the ropes of dough with this mixture.
- Sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds or with everything bagel seasoning. Roll them back and forth so that the sides and bottom get coated. Try to keep the ropes straight.
- Bake in the center rack of the oven until golden.
- The larger breadsticks will be ready in 25 minutes. They will be crisp on the outside and soft inside.
- The smaller breadsticks will be ready in 20-25 minutes. For crisper breadsticks, bake them for 30-35 minutes at 350 °F, 180 °C.
- Allow them to cool and serve with soup, salad, or your morning coffee. Enjoy!
- Store the breadsticks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Toast them in the oven or toaster oven before serving.