Sesame cheese twists

Sesame cheese twists


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About this recipe: These crisp cheese sticks are delicious served fresh and still warm from the oven. Enriched with egg yolks and well flavoured with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, they are made with a combination of wholemeal and plain flour, so that they are substantial without being at all heavy.

Azmina Govindji

Serves: 20 

  • 85 g (3 oz) plain wholemeal flour, preferably stoneground
  • 85 g (3 oz) plain white flour, plus extra for rolling
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 45 g (1½ oz) butter
  • 45 g (1½ oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:30min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Sift the flours and salt into a bowl, tipping in the bran left in the sieve. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  2. Whisk the egg and milk together. Reserve 1 tsp of this mixture, and stir the rest into the dry ingredients to make a firm dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for a few seconds or until smooth.
  3. Sprinkle the paprika over the floured surface, then roll out the dough on it to form a square slightly larger than 20 cm (8 in). Trim the edges to make them straight. Brush the dough with the reserved egg mixture and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Cut the square of dough in half, then cut into 10 cm (4 in) sticks that are about 1 cm (½ in) wide.
  4. Twist the sticks and place on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Press the ends of the sticks down so that they do not untwist during baking.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then serve warm, or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The sticks can be kept in an airtight tin for up to 5 days.

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

Another idea

For blue cheese and walnut biscuits, mash 30 g (1 oz) blue cheese, such as Stilton or Danish blue, with 55 g (2 oz) reduced-fat spread. Sift over 45 g (1½ oz) plain wholemeal flour, 30 g (1 oz) self-raising white flour and 30 g (1 oz) ground rice, tipping in the bran left in the sieve. Add 15 g (1 oz) chopped toasted walnuts. Rub together, then knead lightly to form a dough. Shape into a roll about 12 cm (5 in) long. Wrap in cling film and chill for about 30 minutes. Cut into slices, arrange on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and bake in a preheated 190ºC (375ºF, gas mark 5) oven for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 16 biscuits.

Plus points

Sesame seeds are a good source of calcium as well as providing iron and zinc. * Wholemeal flour has a lot to offer: dietary fibre, B vitamins and vitamin E, together with iron, selenium and magnesium. Stoneground wholemeal flour has slightly more B vitamins than factory-milled wholemeal flour, because stonegrinding keeps the grain cool. Milling with metal rollers creates heat, which spoils some of the nutrients.

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