Cheese straws

servings8
30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 150g of cheddar, finely grated
  • 200g of plain flour, plus more for dusting
  • smoked paprika
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 100g of butter, chilled, plus more for greasing
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • poppy seeds, to coat the cheese straws

Method

1
To make the cheese straws, preheat the oven to 220ºC/gas mark 7. Lightly grease a large baking sheet and cover it with greaseproof paper
2
Put the cheese into a mixing bowl. Sift in the flour and add a sprinkling of smoked paprika. Add some freshly ground black pepper and mix
  • 200g of plain flour
  • smoked paprika
  • black pepper
  • 150g of cheddar, finely grated
3
Cut the butter into little cubes and rub them into the flour mix with your fingertips. When the butter has almost disappeared into the flour and you have a crumbly mixture, stir in the egg yolk with a butter knife
  • 100g of butter
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
4
Gather the pastry into a ball of dough. Dust the work surface with plenty of flour. Carefully roll out the cheese dough into a rough square--it should be about 5mm thick. Neaten the edges with the side of your hand
5
With a sharp knife, cut the square into strips, then each strip into fingers. Pour some poppy seeds in a shallow tray and dip one side of each strip in the seeds. Twist the straws so that the seeded side goes around the strip in a spiral pattern
  • poppy seeds
6
Gently lift the straws on to the lined baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 8 minutes. The cheese straws should be a very pale golden brown
7
They will be fragile once removed from the oven, so leave them to sit for 5 minutes before you try to move them. Carefully lift up the baking parchment and transfer everything to a wire rack to cool for a few more minutes