Instead of doing a full on starter for lunch on Sunday, I just lay out a few salty nibbly bits to go with drinks. A mix of ready to eat things, olives and Parma ham, with these cheesy biscuits were perfect to pick at with a cool glass of pink fizz. The recipe is from the Ottolenghi book, the first baking thing I’ve done from it, and worked brilliantly and simply.
Firstly you need cheese. 165g to be exact. You can use all parmesan but I used a mixture of about half parmesan and half gruyere, mainly due to the availability of cheese in our local Sainsbury’s (other supermarkets are available).
Cream together the grated cheese with the same amount, 165g, of butter (paddle attachment for the Kitchenaid!) then sieve in 210g flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, some salt, pepper and a pinch of chilli powder and beat until it comes together in a dough.
Roll into two cylinders about 4cm in diameter, then wrap in cling film and chill for an hour. You can, about halfway through the chilling time, roll the cylinders in beaten egg then in poppy seeds for bit of pizazz but I ran out of time for this! Then cut into slices about a centimetre thick, lay on a baking tray and cook at 170 for 12 to 15 minutes. I was worried about whether using a different cheese would affect the texture but these came out just the right amount of crumbly and all that cheese makes them incredibly moreish.
I only used one roll and this was plenty, the other one is in the freezer so I am prepared for all occasions when I may want to look like the sort of person who can whip up canapés at a moments notice. Next time I might make thinner rolls for more bite-size biscuits if I was feeling the need to be a bit more dainty.