Recipe: Make our super-cheesy cheese straws
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
There are two camps when it comes to the cheese straw. Some like them crafted from puff pastry - a quick and easy picnic win. All you need to do is roll it out, give a smear of English mustard, crumble with cheese, cut, twist, bake...and away you go.
But they're flipping messy aren't they? I had one (delicious I might add) recently on the way back from an interview, and by the time I arrived home, I looked like I'd been attacked in a bakery. I was covered in the stuff. I also think, with puff pastry versions, you don't get as much bang for your buck when it comes to the cheese.
So I'm firmly in the other camp. It's shortcrust cheese straws all the way for me. They're, I think, more substantial. You can bung in loads more flavour. And you shouldn't end up with flecks of it down your top, in your hair, and god knows where else after eating.
These ones, in honour of the Queen's Jubilee, are made with territorial cheeses from around England's counties. You could stick to your own county's fromages, but just make sure they're strong enough to stand out. There's nothing more disappointing than a cheese straw that doesn't taste of cheese!
I've used properly aged Lancashire cheese for a tang, cave-aged Cheddar for bite, a touch of Red Leicester for creaminess and colour, and just a smidgeon of Stilton for its spicy edge.
Four cheese straws
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400g plain flour
230g unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
150g territorial cheeses mixed – I used aged Lancashire, Cheddar and red Leicester, grated
50g Stilton, crumbled
Large pinch mustard powder
2 egg yolks
Splash cold water
In a large bowl, rub together the flour and butter to make fine crumbs. Add the cheeses, mustard powder, egg yolks and just a splash of water. Press together to make a dough. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
Cut the dough in half. On a floured surface roll one portion of dough to about 1cm thick. Cut out straws 1cm by 10cm in size, twist slightly if you like, and place on lined baking sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes.