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Smoked Cheddar Twists

Smoked Cheddar Twists
Perfect for serving with wine or aperitifs, these crisp twists can also be made with aged cheddar or pepper jack in place of the smoked cheddar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into
      pieces
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Directions:

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cayenne pepper, cheddar cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and salt. Pulse to mix. Sprinkle the butter pieces over the flour mixture and place the work bowl in the freezer for 1 hour, then pulse again to combine.

In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice and ice water. With the processor on, add just enough of the lemon juice mixture to the flour mixture so it comes together in a rough mass.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and gently form into a rough rectangle; do not overwork. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Fold in the narrow ends to meet in the center. Then fold in half crosswise so that there are 4 layers. Turn the dough a quarter turn and roll out again to form a rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Fold the rectangle into thirds as if you are folding a letter. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Unwrap the dough and place on a floured work surface. Roll out into a rectangle about 7 inches wide by 15 inches long by 1/8 inch thick. Trim the edges so that they are even. Cut the dough crosswise into sticks 1/2 inch wide and twist each one once to form a soft turn at the center. Place the twists on 2 ungreased baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

Bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes, switching the baking sheets about halfway through baking. Let cool. Serve immediately, or pack into an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Makes about 30 twists.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Autumn, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).