Today I woke up with a sudden craving for cheese straws. Puff pastry and cheese – what’s not to like? Normally I buy them at farmer’s markets but today I thought I would try to make my own. Really, how hard can it be?
As I suspected, making cheese straws isn’t difficult at all. Making them look nice, well… that WAS a challenge. Patience is not one of my stronger points when it comes to baking which can be a problem. In retrospect I should probably have used the handle of a wooden spoon to make the twisty shape and I should have cut thinner strips instead of trying to create the world’s biggest cheese straws.
Okay they may not have looked ‘pretty’ but they tasted great and they weren’t around long enough to be admired. I will make these again for sure. I used this recipe for Quick Cheese Straws from the BBC GoodFood website as a base. I added some cayenne pepper as I like my straws to have a bit of a kick and I didn’t bother using any flour to roll the pastry out in. I just used parchment paper – it was less messy…sort of.
When I realised the twisty thing wasn’t working I experimented with a few different shapes with mixed results. The giant knobbly cheese straws were light and flaky with just the right amount of cheese and a hint of cayenne. The small danish shaped ones were heavier and a lot cheesier. The last batch I did I opted to roll the pastry out several times instead of just once as the original recipe suggests. I rolled, folded, rolled, folded and rolled again about 6 times in total. These were extremely successful although I didn’t bother twisting them. I think the rolling and folding several times helped mix the cheese and cayenne more into the actual pastry. These were also really light and the texture, I thought, was much better.
Give it a try and see which technique you prefer.
350g puff pastry sheet
110g grated Parmesan cheese or similar hard cheese lick Grana Padano
1/2 teaspoon (or more if you prefer) cayenne pepper
Milk to brush on pastry before baking
Heat oven according to package directions
Take pastry out of fridge about 10-minutes before using, to allow it to come to room temperature
Unroll pastry and cover half with grated cheese and cayenne pepper
Fold pastry sheet in half and roll it out (Note: At this stage I had cheese and cayenne falling out everywhere as the pastry edges wouldn’t stick together – this was where I started to lose my patience)
Cut in strips, twist and place on baking sheet (Note: The more I twisted the more my work surface was covered in a hot and spicy cheese blend – patience…gone!)
Brush with milk and bake until puffed and golden
Enjoy – you deserve a treat!
Grana Padano and Cayenne Pepper
So far, so good
It’s all going well…a little too well….
Yup…I’m irritated now
Misshapen but tasty
Twists are overrated! (These are the ones that were rolled and folded several times)