Before the dreaded onslaught of Christmas which, let’s face it, has already started I thought I would throw in a token savoury blog post. Since they are few and far between I have to admit that this will probably be the last of the year (*I’ve planned the rest of my posts: they are). My decision to be scarily organised with my posts is a rather harrowing reminder of how quickly this year has gone even though 2016 hasn’t exactly been filled with sunshine and rainbows! Either way, however, I decided I had to make my last savoury post something pretty good and using Marmite was an obvious choice in this household.
I had been looking into doing something along the Marmite and cheese scone line for a while, but having offered Wensleydale and cranberry scones several months ago, I decided to mix it up a little. But the extent to which I could do this was limited as, after a few months of regular blogging, my parents have decided to go on a diet. And, unfortunately, this isn’t a ‘I’ll cut a whole in the middle of my pizza and pretend it’s healthy’ kind of Pizza Express diet. We’re talking full on: weekly weigh ins, only soup for lunch, no alcohol at dinner (this is a big one), the works! So I had to do something that hopefully they would at least try without them feeling like they were having a massive binge. So savoury led to bread, which led to breadsticks, which led to grissini (aka I decided to make it fancy). But, as with all my bakes I had a certain level of scepticism. Since Marmite has yeast in it I was worried it would effect the proofing of the dough. So, in true Cakehole style I turned to some vague articles on google and winged it. I used a simple recipe from the guardian which used soft cheese as a base, mixing the Marmite in in the earlier stages to make sure it was evenly distributed. To my relief, however, they were absolutely fine! So I merrily cut them into strips, brushed on a Marmite glaze and popped them in the oven.
Being modest, I have to admit the smell was amazing and flavour certainly did it justice. My Mum is still cursing me now for bringing them into existence as they have a good chance of scuppering her diet. Although some of them were slightly thicker, and therefore slightly softer, they still had a lovely crunch and the saltiness of the Marmite balanced really nicely with the cheddar. So after comparing a lot of them to little snakes, making various Planet Earth II jokes and lovingly naming one of them Raoul I came to the decision that, on the whole, they turned out pretty well. I would personally recommend using a mature cheddar as it really compliments the Marmite, but that’s down to personal preference. Either way I hope you enjoy!
Marmite and Cheddar Grissini
- 300g plain flour
- 2 tsp fine salt
- 75g unsalted butter
- 75g cream cheese
- 150ml warm milk, plus extra for Marmite glaze
- Approx. 4tsp Marmite
- Dried thyme
- 50g mature cheddar, grated
- Mix the flour with the salt and rub in the butter. Sprinkle over the yeast.
- In a separate bowl mix the cream cheese with about 2 tsp marmite until smooth. Add the milk and the herbs and stir together.
- Add the milk to the flour and stir until it forms a sticky dough. Cover and leave for an hour.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 15 seconds only. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to rest for another hour.
- While you are waiting, grate your cheddar and make the Marmite glaze. You do this by melting a couple of tsps of Marmite in a pan until it starts to loosen, then adding a splash of milk and stirring together.
- Preheat your oven to 160C/ 140C Fan/ 320F.
- Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface. Roll to about 1cm thick and slice into strips with a pizza cutter. Roll each strip into pencil shapes with your hands, trying to avoid knocking too much air out of them. Space out on a lined baking tray, brush with the glaze and sprinkle over the cheddar, then bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden.