It is Half Term holidays for my cherubs this week which means a seemingly endless quest to keep them from eating us out of house and home. I whipped up these for an afternoon snack, with the help of all 3 of my girls. These bread sticks would be great as a party snack for kids parties or a snack with drinks for a more grown up gathering.
It is a great recipe for kids to help with as there's measuring, kneading, grating and snipping of herbs to be done as well as cutting the sticks from the dough. These bread sticks keep well in an airtight container, assuming they are not all eaten in one afternoon.
Cheese and Herb Bread Sticks
250g strong white bread flour, or use half wholemeal and half white
1 sachet instant yeast
1 tsp salt
15ml/1 Tblsp oil
150ml lukewarm water
100g mature cheddar, finely grated
1 or 2 Tblsp fresh chives, finely chopped or 1 - 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, measure the flour, yeast, salt and oil. Gradually add the water whilst slowly mixing and continue to mix until a dough forms. Either knead in a mixer or turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, this usually takes about 10 minutes by hand. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to prove until doubled in size. This took about an hour in a warm kitchen.
Line a couple of oven trays with non-stick baking paper and preheat your oven to 200C/180C Fan. Once the dough has proved, knock it back and knead through 3/4 of the finely grated cheese and all of the fresh or dried herbs. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to form a rectangle about 1cm (½ inch) thick. If you have a pizza wheel this makes the task of cutting the strips of dough much easier. If you don't then don't worry a floured sharp knife works just as well. Cut the dough into strips 1cm (½ inch) wide and put the dough strips on to your prepared trays allowing a little room for the bread sticks to spread. Sprinkle the leftover quantity of the grated cheese over the top of the cheese sticks.
Bake in your preheated oven for about 12 - 15 minutes until crisp. Keep an eye on them towards the end of the cooking time. Different thickness bread sticks may need a longer or shorter cooking time. I sometimes turn the bread sticks over and bake them for another couple of minutes to make sure they are crispy and cooked through. Once cooked, transfer the bread sticks to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.