I felt like baking this morning but the cupboards were seriously bare. So I improvised with what I had and decided on a twist on cheese straws.
I didn't even have normal plain or self raising flour, so ended up using 00 flour, an extremely fine type usually used in making pasta. The result was suprisingly good, creating a very delicate, melt in the mouth straw, although a bit difficult to work with. I tried making both thick and thin straws, the thin ones again were harder to work with, especially when the dough warmed up a little, but the finished result had a lovely crispy outside with a softer inside, whereas the thick ones could be a bit chewier in places, but it's really down to personal preference.
The result was much lighter and less greasy than shop bought cheese straws, although I was dissapointed not to be able to taste the apple. I think this was down to the type of apple I used, as I used royal gala. A stronger apple such as braeburn or bramley would make for a much better flavour and I'll try that next time. The type of cheese used again could alter the taste, I love my cheese strong and used Cathetral City white vintage cheddar, which I actually find mild, and hence the straws had quite a light taste. I think the lesson here is to use a cheese you like the taste of and is the strength you like, it would work well with cheshire as well as cheddar.
The recipe does not call for it, but brush the straws with milk before cooking to create a glossy finish.
220g plain flour
80g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
90g cheese, grated
1 tsp salt
40g peeled, cored and grated apple (roughly one apple)
- Preheat oven to 170C/Gas mark 3. Line 1-2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- Put the flour, butter, cheese and salt in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles crumbs.
- Tip into a bowl, stir in the apple, then work by hand to form a dough. Add a little water if too dry.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to form a log, wrap in cling film and refridgerate for around 15 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and unwrap. Roll with a rolling pin to create a dough around half a centimetre thick.
- Using a knife cut into straws between 0.5cm and 1.5cm depending on how thick or thin you want your straws
- Twist then place on the baking tray making sure they do not touch.
- Bake for around 18-20minutes until golden, remove from the oven and cool.
These store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, and freeze well once cooked.