Changing your diet or implementing healthier habits is a very difficult task, especially if you have had a lot of bad eating habits so far: sweet and salty snacks every day, fast foods, etc. If you like sweets and it is difficult for you to give them up, instead of buying ready-made desserts or cakes, you can prepare them yourself at home. The same goes for salty snacks. A few days ago, as a snack, we decided to buy a box of cheese sticks. It turned out that most of the snacks offered had also unhealthy ingredients, such as palm oil, artificial dyes and flavours, and other hard to identify ingredients. It was really hard to find something with a short and natural ingredients list.
Therefore, today I have a recipe for you for homemade crunchy cheese sticks. I remembered that I used to make homemade snacks and we liked it very much. Their additional advantage is also the fact that they are more inexpensive, with the given amounts of ingredients you get quite a lot of sticks. We also save on the environment by not buying plastic packaging (do you also find it annoying how much plastic packaging you buy?) When preparing homemade snacks, you can choose on what ingredients you use, so you can choose the better quality ones. Homemade cheese sticks are delicious and you can prepare them in an infinite number of flavours.
Using different spices and herbs you can make plenty of flavours. Add: sesame seeds, coarse pepper, dried oregano, basil, chives, rosemary, thyme, curry, cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, cajun, paprika, nigella seed, poppy seed or olive oil etc.
From ingredients listed below, sticks come out crispy, with a cheesy flavour and a buttery aroma. I cut the dough into long strips, hence the fingers are quite large, but you can prepare smaller versions – just remember to watch them while baking.
Making your own snacks seems to be a small step in your journey to healthier body, but it makes a difference. As a rule, most of us do not realize how many artificial and unhealthy additives are added to the processed foods we buy in stores. Changing from just a few ready-made products to home-made meals or snacks over an extended period of time will be a positive change.
crunchy cheese sticks
NOTE: as my measuring cup I use regular 250ml glass
- 1½ cup of plain flour
- 100 g cold butter
- about 3 tbsp of cold water
- 2 handfuls of grated cheese (chose your favourite, the best is strong and tangy)
- 3 tbsp sweet paprika powder
- optionally : ½ tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 2 tsp natural rock salt
Combine together: plain flour, salt, garlic, paprika powder (and cayenne if you like) in a big pot (it will be easier to combine). Add grated cheese and combine. Next add butter sliced in small pieces and about 3 tablespoons of cold water. Knead the pastry until butter and flour will combine and become flexible. Add some more water if needed. You can combine the ingredients on a silicone board, but from my experience it’s easier to use a pot – flour doesn’t spill everywhere.
When your dough it’s ready cover it with foil and put to a freezer for about 15 minutes.
Heat the oven to 190ºC (or 170ºC with fan). Split the pastry in two parts (the other one put to a fridge) and roll first part on the baking paper up to 3-4mm thick and about 30cm side length. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut the dough into 1cm stripes along that 30cm side.
Place a piece of baking paperon a large baking tray, place gently pastry stripes keeping about 1-1,5cm distance (it will rise a bit). Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden, but be careful not to burn them, because cheese will gets bitter. Do the same with second part of pastry. Keep sticks in airtight container to stay crispy for a long time.