POPPY SEED CHEESE STRAWS
Cheese Straws were an integral part of my childhood, as was the bakery in south Devon where I first developed my cheese straw addiction. This variation works equally well as a delicious pre-dinner party nibble or a guilty afternoon treat.
As an extra indulgence, try serving these with cranberry sauce.
375g Puff Pastry
100g Extra Mature Cheddar, finely grated
100g Medium Cheshire, finely grated
75g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
75g Mature Cheddar Spread
2tbsp Poppy Seeds
1 Large Free Range Egg, whisked
1 Generous Pinch of Salt & Pepper
Plain Flour for Dusting
1. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a large rectangle where the length of the is roughly double it’s width until approximately 5mm thick. Mix together the grated cheese and evenly scatter approximately a third of the cheese over one half of the pastry along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Now fold the other half of the pastry back over the scattered cheese like a book and then roll out the again to approximately 5mm thick.
3. Lightly spread the mature cheddar spread all over the pastry and then evenly scatter ¾ of the poppy seeds followed by half of the remaining grated cheese. Fold half of the pastry back on itself again like a book and gently press together. This does not need to be perfectly sealed at all.
4. Arrange the pastry so that the fold is facing away from you. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry vertically into strips approximately 25mm thick. Twist each strip 4-5 times and arrange on the baking tray.
5. Chill the pastry in the fridge for 15-20mins.
6. Preheat the oven to 200 °C
7. Remove the pastry from the fridge and evenly brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle over the remaining grated cheese and poppy seeds and a pinch of salt and pepper.
8. Bake the cheese straws for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is well risen and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before devouring.