Marmite and Cheddar Grissini

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.

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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!

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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

Method

  1. Mix the flour with the salt and rub in the butter. Sprinkle over the yeast.
  2. In a separate bowl mix the cream cheese with about 2 tsp marmite until smooth. Add the milk and the herbs and stir together.
  3. Add the milk to the flour and stir until it forms a sticky dough. Cover and leave for an hour.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Preheat your oven to 160C/ 140C Fan/ 320F.
  7. 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.
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