Ch StrawsCheese straws are a very popular party food here in the UK. or these used to be in the 1970’s anyway!!  They are though, making a bit of a come-back with all the baking shows we now have on TV and they do go very well with Tea.  So if you want to try something savoury with your tea then try these.  They can be made into ‘sticks’ or rounds. you can even sandwich two together with cheese or put grated cheese on top for extra flavour.  If you want them to look nice you can make one straw into a round and put some other straws inside as I did.  The basic recipe is for cheese pastry so if you did not want to make cheese straws you can use this recipe for making a pastry flan case and then make a quiche.  Recipe for that at a later date!

100g or 4 ozs plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder
50g or 2 ozs butter
75g or 3 ozs mature grated cheese
a pinch of salt and/or mustard powder
1 beaten egg

Cheese StrawsHeat the oven to 180 C, 350 F or gas mark 4 and prepare a baking sheet with baking parchment

Mix together the dry ingredients and rub in the butter to resemble fine crumbs. ( It is always good to have cold hands when making pastry!)  Stir in the cheese and add sufficient egg to make a stiff dough, not too wet and not too dry, if the dough comes away from the bowl leaving it clean then that is about right.  Roll out the pastry quite thinly and cut some into strips and some into rounds, make some strips into rounds for serving.  Put one circle on the baking sheet  add some sliced cheese and dampen the edges with the remaining egg or water, then cover with another circle and crimp together.  Brush everything with egg wash (egg and water) or milk and sprinkle more grated cheese on top if required.  Bake for 10-15 mins, leave to cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack with a spatula.  Best served slightly warm on the day of baking or you can heat them in the microwave for a few seconds the next day.  Mine never last more than two days in the tin, in fact there are only three left now and I only made them this morning!

~JB

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