Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Cheese, loved by so many, is also such a versatile ingredient. Something magical happens to the flavour when it is heated. Becoming more savoury, salty and intense on the palette. Even when eaten with crackers it benefits vastly when left out of the fridge to come up to room temperature. Since I won some Vintage Cheddar in a Twitter competition I wanted to create a new, delicious snack recipe. These Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks tick every, single, box.

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

The combination of good quality mature, or vintage cheddar with fresh thyme gives a distinctly savoury flavour to these breadsticks. Also, the addition of Parmesan cheese to the bread dough enhances and reaffirms their cheesy flavour. While pastry cheese straws can be oily at times, that is not the case here. No greasy fingers whilst munching on these!

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

As well as tasting delicious on their own, these cheesy breadsticks also make a perfect accompaniment to soup, such as Hearty Minestrone Soup. While sounding an unlikely combination, we ate these with a simple beef casserole that had been bubbling away on the hob all day. Not so surprising when Cheddar is often used in the pastry of well made beef pies.

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks makes 32

320ml Tap Water at room temperature

7g Dried Yeast

500g Strong White Bread Flour

2 tbsp Olive Oil plus extra for oiling the baking trays

7g Sea Salt plus extra for sprinkling – I use Maldon

50g Parmesan Cheese finely grated

3 tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves plus an add 2 tsp for sprinkling – halve the amount if using dried

1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper plus extra for sprinkling on to breadsticks

50g plus an additional 75g Mature Cheddar Cheese – I used Vintage Cheddar from Wyke Farms

1 Free Range Egg beaten with 2 tsp cold water to use as an egg wash

Method:

The method given uses a stand mixer with dough hook attachment to make the dough. Of course this may be made by hand.

  • Weigh the water into the bowl of the stand mixer.
  • Add the dried yeast and flour.
  • Now add the olive oil and salt.
  • Lower the dough hook and mix on low speed for 10 minutes, increasing to medium speed for a further 3 minutes.
  • While the dough is mixing lightly oil 4 large baking trays. Also preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, 400F, gas mark 6.
  • Stop mixing and check the dough. It should stretch without tearing. Indeed you should be able to stretch it so that light can be seen through it. This is called the windowpane test. If the dough does not pass this test lower the dough hook and continue to mix on medium, stopping and checking every two minutes until it finally passes the test.
  • As soon as the dough is ready stop mixing. Add both the finely grated Parmesan cheese and 50g of the cheddar. Also add 2 teaspoons of fresh Thyme leaves and half a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
  • Lower the dough hook and mix on a low speed for two minutes.
  • Stop the mixer, scrape any dough from the dough hook into the bowl, cover with a cloth and leave in a draft free place until doubled in size.
  • Lightly flour the worktop and tip out the dough, so that the top of the risen dough is on contact with the worktop.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
The Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks dough.
  • Dust the dough with flour and roll out to 50cm x 30cm (20in x 12in).
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Preparing the dough to become breadsticks.
  • Sprinkle over the rolled out dough, 75g finely grated cheddar and 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves.
  • Fold the dough in half.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Folding and cutting the dough into breadsticks.
  • Gently roll over the folded dough with a rolling pin, sealing the cheese inside.
  • Cut the dough in half across the middle. Next cut 1cm (1/2in) strips in the dough.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Preparing the breadsticks for baking.
  • Removing one dough strip at a time, stretch and twist it before placing on a prepared baking tray. The dough can be pressed on to the tray and will stick, holding the twist in place. Place eight breadsticks on each tray.
  • Brush each breadstick lightly with egg wash and sprinkle over 1/2 teaspoon of thyme (for each eight breadsticks). Also grind black pepper and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the tray.
  • Place two baking sheets in the oven on separate shelves and bake for 15-20 minutes.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Freshly baked, golden, Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
  • The breadsticks are baked when they are a light golden brown. If baked for longer they become hard and lose the soft, fluffy inner.
  • As soon as the breadsticks are baked remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
  • Continue with the other half of the dough, cutting, twisting, egg washing and sprinkling and finally baking as before.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
The soft inner crumb of these Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks.
  • Wait until slightly cooled before stealing a bite into one of these deliciously cheesy breadsticks, with its soft, fluffy inner.
FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks

Serve slightly warm to allow for the best possible taste experience. At there best enjoyed on the day these are made.

Since this recipe makes a big batch of Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks, they can be enjoyed at larger gatherings and are ideal for adding to a buffet table.

To make ahead, bake as usual, cool and freeze for up to two weeks. Remove from the freezer when needed, place on a baking tray in a warm oven for 10 minutes to defrost and warm through.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks you may also like these:

Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Seeded Multigrain Baguettes

Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Baked Cheese Olive Ciabatta Bread

Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

FF Cheddar Cheese Thyme Soft Breadsticks
Cheddar Sun Dried Tomato Scones

Creating recipes using ingredients that compliment and enhance each other is at the heart of Feasting is Fun. Likewise, encouraging people to share. Baking extra so that a gift may be given to an elderly neighbour or new family, is easy. Especially when you are in the kitchen already, whipping up a batch of breadsticks, cookies or cupcakes. The enjoyment seen on someone’s face, simply because they have been thought of, is priceless.

Who will you share with?

Whatever you are making, baking or creating in your kitchens, enable fun preparing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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Slow Roasted Cider Pork

I really enjoy roasting a large joint of meat. Not only does it really feel as though I am preparing a feast, it also is difficult to over cook the meat. This Slow Roasted Cider Pork is so easy to cook and the flavour it outta this world!

FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork melt in the mouth meat and the best crackling!

This beautiful, bone in, tied shoulder of Pork came from  Graig Farm . It weighed 4kg and so was a whopper of a joint.

Cooked on a bed of fresh herbs and onions, with a bottle of Thatcher’s Gold Cider poured under it, the Pork, tightly wrapped in aluminium foil, cooks slowly and steams in the herby, cider.

FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork such a delicious way to roast pork shoulder.

In the United States Pork Shoulder is also referred to as Pork Butt. The joint comes from the front shoulder of the pig, so needs long, slow cooking, to break down the the muscle. The result is effectively pulled Pork. Don’t expect to carve this joint, as it literally falls apart once cooked.

Oh and have I mentioned how easy it is to cook this Slow Roasted Cider Pork?

Once prepped you pop it in the oven and just let it do it’s gloriously tasty, deliciously melting, cooking. A great dish if you’ve got a busy day ahead.

FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork look how tender this delicious meat is?

The bones literally pulled  clean out from the pork.

From this one joint you can go on to make other dishes in the week – watch out for my Chipotle Pulled Pork Fajita’s coming soon 😉

Some people can’t be bothered with the hassle of cooking a Sunday Roast. For our family it is not only tradition, but also provides leftovers for meals during the week such as my Roast Chicken Noodle Soup.

Slow Roasted Cider Pork can be served with the traditional Sunday sides of roast potatoes and vegetables, or Mashed Potatoes for the ultimate comfort meal. There are dozens of ways to serve pulled pork and I intend to add plenty more recipes to this blog!

FF Slow Roasted Roast Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork infused with cider and fresh herb flavours.

This one joint would easily feed 15-20 people, depending on how you were serving it. The pork I used for this joint was organic. I can honestly say that the flavour is far superior to the pale, mass produced alternative. Economically, this meal made four dinners for a family of 5. With 3 growing teenagers, that counts as 5 adults in my book.

This Slow Roasted Cider Pork goes a long way and that that certainly helps with theconomics of buying such a large joint. As I’ve said before we are not a meat eating family, so the meat we do eat goes further. Take a look at Graig Farm’s website, there is 10% off for new customers and they always have special offers on. They are a family run farm who genuinely care for the animals that they rear.

I have been buying meat from them for the last few years and I have never had a bad meal, cooked with their meat.

This is not a sponsored post. I paid fair and square for the Pork Shoulder, I just really like their farming ethos, they are very nice people and their meat is outstanding!

Recipe: Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

3-4Kg Bone in Pork Shoulder Joint – if cooking a smaller joint reduce the temperature to 120C

Fresh Herbs – I used Bay leaves, Sage, Thyme and Rosemary – woody herbs work best

1 Large Onion – peeled and cut into quarters (or 2 small onions halved)

1 Bottle Cider 500ml I used – Thatcher’s Gold

Sea Salt – I use – Maldon

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6

  • Remove the pork from the fridge 1 hour before cooking. Remove all packaging set on a large plate and pat dry with kitchen roll.
  • In the base of your roasting tin add the fresh herbs and onions quarters.
  • Pour in the bottle of cider.
  • Sit the pork joint on top of the onions and herbs.
  • Sprinkle over freshly ground pepper, rub sea salt and a little fresh thyme into the skin.

FF Slow Roasted Cider PorkSlow Roasted Cider Pork

    I know you can’t see the cider I poured it under the pork after it was placed in the tin!
  • Cover the pork with aluminium foil, making sure that it does not touch the actual joint. Crimp the foil tightly around the edge of the tin so that it seals in the pork and cider.
FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Slow Roasted Cider Pork ready for it’s low and slow roasting.
  • Place the roasting tin into the lower part of the oven and allow to cook at the preheated temperature for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes has passed reduce the oven temperature to 150C/130C fan, gas mark 2 and cook for a further 6 hours.
  • You can take the joint out after 3 hours and baste with the herby cider juices as I did. Remember to tightly cover with foil before putting back into the oven.
FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork.
Slow Roasted Cider Pork basted with the cider halfway through cooking.
  • If you want to go out for the day, please don’t worry about the basting. The steamy, herb infused, cider atmosphere in which the pork cooks will still be deliciously full of flavour.
  • After 6 hours has elapsed remove the joint from the oven and check how tender it is. I simply pull at the meat with a fork, if it comes away easily the park is cooked.
  • Increase the oven temperature up to it’s original preheated level and place the pork back in the oven for 20-30 minutes to crisp up the crackling and create the crusty pork ‘bark’ at each end of the joint.
  • When the skin has crisped up and you have crunchy crackling remove the pork from the oven.
  • Remove the pork joint from the tin and place on a platter or carving board.
  • Being extra careful as it is very hot, I then snip and remove any string, before using scissors to cut away the crackling, which I then pop back in the oven whilst the roast potatoes cook.
  • Cover the pork with foil and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • Using two forks pull the pork apart and pull out the bones, they will come out cleanly.
  • FF Slow Roasted Cider PorkYou can see how cleanly the bone came out on the left.

Serve the Slow Roasted Cider Pork with roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables and enjoy the soft, tender meat and crunchy, tasty cracking.

The perfect roast to fead a crowd, so invite all you family round, get everyone to pitch in with a dish and enjoy fun, feasting, friendship and laughter together. There’s nothing like a good meal and great company to hhelp people relax and unwind.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Slow Roasted Cider Pork you may also like these:

Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

FF Redburrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb
Redcurrant Jelly Glazed Roast Lamb

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

FF Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken
Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

Garlic Rosemary Roast Potatoes

FF Slow Roasted Cider Pork
Garlic Rosemary Roast Potatoes

 

Do you enjoy cooking a roast for all the family, or is it too much hassle?

Thank you for all your photos and feedback via the comments section, Instagram and Twitter. I really do appreciate you making and baking my recipes and love yo see how they turn out, so please keep the pictures and comments coming.

Whatever you are making and baking the Bank Holiday Monday, I hope you have fun creating your delicious feasts and sharing your wonderful bakes with lots of smiles.

Sammie xx

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