Cheese straws

Cheese straws

By
From
B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself
Makes
22

Another simple bake that you have to make loads of because they are so very easy to plough through. I prefer to make the pastry myself as you can incorporate cheese into more of the layers, which I think makes it puff better. Bake these to eat while you veg out in front of a movie on a Saturday night, or to be demolished at the start of any meal you care to serve. Once you can make them, though, I’m afraid you’ll have the job because you’ll keep being pestered for more.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
225g plain flour, plus more to dust
pinch table salt
75g unsalted butter
75g lard
75g cheddar cheese, grated
50g parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
rolling pin
tape measure
2 baking sheets or trays

Method

  1. Put the flour and salt into a bowl and mix in 125 ml of cold water thoroughly with a spoon until combined. Turn out on to a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes until soft and elastic. Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Chop the butter and the lard into 1cm cubes and return them to the fridge; it’s important they are cold.
  3. Roll the dough out on to a floured surface to a 45 x 15 cm rectangle. Try to get the edges as sharp and as straight as you can.
  4. Remove the butter and lard from the fridge and place them evenly on the dough, covering two-thirds of the length of the pastry and also leaving a clear border around all the edges. Fold the plain dough over half of the buttered-and-larded section and press the edges to seal the butter in. Fold this layer over again to cover the remaining section and press down the edges all round to form a 15 cm square of pastry. Turn by 90 degrees and roll out to 45 x 15 cm again, then fold up into thirds as before, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  5. Mix the cheeses with the cayenne pepper. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to 45 x 15 cm. Sprinkle the cheeses over two-thirds of the pastry, lengthways, and fold up as in the previous step. Return to the fridge for another 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220°C and line 2 baking sheets or trays with baking parchment. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to 44 x 15 cm. Cut into strips of 15 x 2 cm. Twist each strip twice, place on the baking trays and bake for 15 minutes until golden and puffed up.
  7. Eat as quick as you can, then make some more.

Note

  • This recipe has a level 1 (beginner) difficulty.

Extras

  • The good thing about these snacks is that you can flavour them however you want. I’ve spiced these up with cayenne, but you can also use English mustard powder or curry powder. Sprinkle them with poppy seeds or sesame seeds or any herbs you can find in the cupboard, for extra texture or taste. Be sure to twist them before cooking, or they will rise, topple over and all stick together. Have fun making these, but keep them away from the dog while they’re cooling… My dog is usually good as gold around what I bake, but the moment these come out of the oven her nose starts twitching and I have to keep them out of reach.
Tags:
Great British Bake Off
Baking
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