Years and years ago, in one of the first cookbooks I ever read, there was a whole chapter dedicated to treats you can bake quickly, when unexpected guests arrive. Today, whenever I write about or develop a quick recipe of that type, I have that in mind. Quick savoury treats are always welcome, whether it truly is to host an unexpected gathering, or just to have a snack while enjoying a glass of cold beer.
These particular breadsticks take no longer than 30 minutes to be done, and they are very cheesy, as their name says. The cream cheese in the dough itself gives them slight tanginess, and the lovely mild white Cheddar only emphasises that flavour. They are quite forgiving, too, simply handle the dough only until it comes together, and they will be flaky and perfect. Equally delicious piping hot right off the baking sheet, or slightly cooled, with a bowl of rich tomato soup or a nice dip.
300 grams plain flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
120 ml tepid milk
100 grams soft cream cheese
50 ml vegetable oil
75 grams white Cheddar cheese
Take a large bowl and add in the cream cheese, milk, and oil, and blend well with a wire whisk. It may seem like it will not come together, especially because of the milk an oil, but vigorous whisking will blend it into a smooth paste. Add in the baking powder and salt, and blend again. Sift in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until a very soft dough forms. It should be smooth, and not sticky to the touch.
Divide the dough into 20 pieces, roll each piece into a thin breadstick, and arrange them on a large baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Coarsely shred the cheese and sprinkle it all over the breadsticks, making sure that each one has an equal amount of cheese on it. Bake immediately, in an oven preheated to 200°C, for about 15-20 minutes. Let them cool down slightly, and serve. Yields 20 medium breadsticks.
By Tina Vesić