So here's round 2 (out of 3) from the picnic goodies!
These are cheddar cheese straw from spelt flour with thyme, they may look a bit weird but they are delicious! I've had an eye on for a while now but didn't really have an occasion to make them (don't you hate that?) so finally the picnic came up and I had a chance to try my luck with these wood-stick-branch-crackers (that by the way were kinda funny eating when surrounded by branches and sticks in the park).
The original recipe calls for buckwheat flour, which I went to buy especially for these straws. For some reason when I started making the cheese straws I noticed how the flour was quite light in color and remembered buckwheat to be darker and also gray-ish, I pick up the box and it says "Organic Spelt Flour"- WWWHAT ?!?!?? Boy did I want to kick myself! (don't you HATE when that happens?), Time was running out (and that's why I don't have any pictures of the process) so I just made these with the spelt flour.
This recipe is easily doubled, I also doubled the amount of salt and made my straws much shorter to make transportation easier. It may sound a bit complicated but it's really not, for some more pictures and measurements in inches go here.
Spelt Cheese Straws
1/2 cup buckwheat flour (I used spelt)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
115 gr (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
3/4 cup (70 gr) white cheddar, shredded on a box grater
1/2 cup ice cold water
Combine the flours, salt and thyme in a bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles little pebbles in a beach of sandy flour (about 20 quick pulses). Alternately, you can cut the butter in using a knife and fork. Transfer to a mixing bowl and toss in the cheese. Sprinkle with ice water and use your hands or a spoon to stir it through and bring everything together into a ball of dough. Flatten the ball into a thick square patty, wrap well in plastic, and place in the freezer for thirty minutes.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 200° degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat, and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
I find it easiest to work with one half of the dough at a time. Remove the dough from the freezer, cut in half, re-wrap the half you won't be using immediately, and place it back in the freezer. If the dough gets too warm it is difficult to work with. On a well-floured surface roll out the remaining dough into a rectangle roughly 15x30 cm and ½ cm thick. Use a knife to cut 1 cm wide strips, each about 15 cm. Now take a strip of dough and gently pinch it all along its length so that it is easier to roll out into a straw shape roughly 30 inches long. If the dough is giving you trouble, consider chilling it a bit longer. Place each straw on the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining strips, leaving at least 1 cm between each straw.
Bake the straws one pan at a time for about 8-10 minutes, or until the straws look set, and the cheese is golden where it is touching the pan. Flip each straw and bake for another 2-3 minutes on the other side. Keep in mind if your straws are on the thin side, they'll bake in a flash, if they are slightly thicker they will need to go longer. Remove from oven and let cool, they will crisp more as they cool.
Original from: 101 cookbooks