Bread sticks make delicious, fuss-free snacks and hors d'oeuvres, and they're surprisingly simple to make.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and baking powder to combine. Add shortening, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, gradually add between 1/2 and 3/4 cup ice water until dough comes together, about 1 minute.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Form dough into a smooth rectangle, about 4 by 6 inches, with your fingers. Then roll out dough into an 8-by-10-inch sheet, 1/4 inch thick. Cut dough lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.
Using your hands, gently roll each strip back and forth into 16-inch-long sticks. For the twisted version, grab each end of dough strip with your fingers, and carefully stretch and twist strip in opposite directions. Arrange sticks on two baking sheets, side by side but not touching. If salting, brush each stick lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Press the ends onto the baking sheet to keep sticks straight while they cook. Bake until firm and cooked through, 14 to 18 minutes. Transfer sticks to a wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.