Inspired by a recent entry on Macheesmo about his homemade cheese straws, I decided to attempt something similar. Snack food for breakfast? Why not?
Cheese straws with smoked salt
makes about 4 dozen small logs
4 Tbsp cold butter, cut into little pieces
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups (approximately) shredded cheese (I used Manchego and my mystery cheese)
4 Tbsp (approximately) cold water
1 tsp smoked salt
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Put the butter and flour in a mixing bowl and rub together with your fingers until the butter is in pea-sized lumps. You don't want it to be uniform; it should have a bit of texture to it.
Mix in the cheese with your hands until it is all coated with the butter-flour mixture.
One tablespoon at a time, add the water, mixing with your hands as you go. When the dough starts to come together, STOP ADDING WATER and squeeze the dough into a ball. You can let the dough rest in the refrigerator at this point, or you can bake it right away.
Roll out the dough (I did this on a piece of parchment paper) and cut into whatever shapes you like. Sprinkle with the smoked salt. Regular coarse salt will work too, of course. Bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan for 8-10 minutes, or until slightly golden on top. Try mightily not to eat all at once (you will fail, as I have).