This recipe uses shortcrust pastry, but you can also make it with puff pastry.
Different toppings look great and taste delicious – try walnuts, toasted pine nuts, chopped pistachios, poppy, caraway or dill seeds.
255g Homepride Plain Flour, plus a little extra for dusting
225g strong cheese, grated
50g margarine or butter straight from the fridge, cut into pieces
50g white fat, cut into pieces
4table spoon ice cold water
A little milk
Toppings of your choice
1. Combine the flour and the fats in a mixing bowl and, using your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture looks like damp breadcrumbs. Then, stir in the grated cheese.
2. Sprinkle the water, a little at a time, over the mixture and begin drawing it together with a palette knife, pressing the mixture on the side of the bowl. The mixture should come cleanly away from the sides of the bowl if it is the right texture. Once the mixture comes together, use your hands to gather it into a ball.
3. Sprinkle on a little flour and place the dough in a plastic bag. Set aside in a cool place or refrigerator for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/170°C fan assisted/400F/gas mark 6. Roll out the pastry very thinly. To make the straws, cut into strips about 1cm wide and about 18cm long and twist two strips together. To make rounds, use a fluted edge cutter to stamp them out.
5. Brush the shapes all over with a little milk and add any toppings you’ve chosen. Place them on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed up and crisp.