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Salt & Pepper Straws

Blog post by Phyl.

The final two recipes in the Puff Pastries section of the Modern Baker Challenge were among the easiest. They are also the best argument I can think of for keeping puff pastry in your freezer at all times. With puff pastry on hand, you can have these delicious snacks baked and ready to eat in no time.

Unlike my friend Margaret, who set out to make salt and pepper straws and ended up making cheese straws instead, I set out to bake salt and pepper straws and ended up making both.

These were so easy to make. I rolled out the puff pastry, spread half of it with egg wash, then covered half the egg wash with salt and pepper, and the rest with cheese and paprika. The recipe called for salt with the cheese, but when I made them previously, I found the cheese straws a bit too salty for my taste.

Normally, you would cover the egg wash with either salt and pepper or the cheese mixture, but I was making a half batch of each.

If that looks like a lot of salt and pepper, it is. In fact, I thought it might be a bit too heavy on the salt. But I like to follow the recipe the first time I make something, so I stuck with the amounts given (cut in half to account for making a half batch, of course).

After folding the unadorned half of the dough over the rest, I rolled it out into a large rectangle, then cut the dough into 1/2-inch strips. I baked the straws for about 20 minutes, until they were puffy and golden. (I don’t have a picture of the finished product, so you’ll have to take my word for it. If you want to see what they looked like, check out Margaret’s cheese straws.)

The cheese straws were delicious. Without the additional salt, they were perfectly savory, cheesy, and, yes, salty. The pepper in the salt and pepper straws was just right, too. It gave them the right amount of bite but didn’t overwhelm the other flavors. I did find them a bit too salty, as did my tasters. Next time I think I’ll cut the salt in half, and I bet they’ll be perfect.



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