1. Dust two large baking trays with flour.
2. Put the flour, yeast and the 1 1⁄2 teaspoons of salt into a large bowl and add enough of the water to make a soft but not sticky dough.
3. Knead well for 10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured work surface or for 5 minutes if using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
4. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions, each weighing about 60g. Roll them into balls, then place each ball on a floured surface and roll into a long sausage shape about 25cm x 2cm. For the best visual results make the sausage shape an even thickness.
5. Shape half of the dough into twists. Run a knife down the centre to split the dough, leaving a bit at the bottom uncut. Braid or plait the two halves over each other to give a twisted effect.
6. Place the breadsticks on the prepared baking trays, spacing them 4cm apart.
7. Preheat the oven to 200°C, Gas Mark 6.
8. Cover the breadsticks loosely with oiled cling film, making sure it is airtight. Leave in warm place for 30 minutes, or until the breadsticks have almost doubled in size.
9. Remove the cling film and brush each breadstick with the extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle half the breadsticks with the sea salt and the remainder with the freshly ground black pepper. Bake on the top third of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the breadsticks are lightly golden and feel firm to the touch.
10. Remove the breadsticks from the oven and leave to cool on the baking trays.
Recipe courtesy of Lorraine Pascale, Baking Made Easy HarperCollins, 2012 (£20) Photography courtesy of Myles New