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Somerset Cheddar Cheese Straws

Cheese straws are so delicious but can be tricky to make if the proportions are not quite right. We tested these every week for a month, just to make sure they were perfect – and because they are so moreish, too!


250g (9oz) cold butter
cubed 55g (2oz) semolina
400g (14oz) plain flour
1 tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
150g (5oz) mature Somerset Cheddar, coarsely grated
150g (5oz) Parmesan, coarsely grated, plus about 4 tbsp finely grated,
To garnish 1 egg, beaten
A little milk


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

2. Measure the butter, semolina, flour, mustard powder, cayenne pepper and a little salt into a food processor. Whiz until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

3. Add the Cheddar, Parmesan and egg and whiz again for a short time, just until the dough comes together.

4. Remove the dough from the processor, divide into two equal pieces, and shape each one with your hands on a floured work surface into a rectangle. Roll each piece of dough to a rectangle about 46 x 16cm (18 × 6½in) and about 8mm (1/3in) thick.

5. Brush the milk over the top of the dough and sprinkle with the finely grated Parmesan. Slice each rectangle into roughly 25 strips.

6. Carefully lift each straw on to the prepared baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for about 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool on the baking sheet until the straws have hardened and are easy to handle.

7. Serve cold.

Extracted from Mary Makes It Easy by Mary Berry (BBC Books, £28).