Taste it, now make it! Spicy Cheddar Breadsticks

Taste it, now make it! Spicy Cheddar Breadsticks

At the beginning of October 2011, Ryan and I decided to drive to Montreal for dinner on a whim. Our ultimate (and ambitious) goal was to be able to get into Garde Manger for dinner – having only been once before and loved it, we really need to get our act together and begin going there more frequently. We drove the 2 hours to get to Montreal at 8, where we found out that we wouldn’t be able to get a table until 10 (this came as no surprise to us; it’s difficult to get a walk-in table here). We decided to try Restaurant DNA instead, where we tried the chef’s tasting menu. While the food was good, it was almost entirely challenging flavours and textures, and my palate was exhausted by the end. However, the restaurant’s breadsticks are excellent. They are long, thin and pretzel-like, served in vases. I decided to replicate them at home. Thanks to Julie van Rosendaal’s Grazing, it was easy to adapt a recipe that came close, and I’ve been making these ever since.

Spicy Cheddar Breadsticks

Adapted from Grazing by Julie van Rosendaal

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup old cheddar cheese, grated

4 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup water

coarse salt or pretzel salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400ยบ F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Add flour, cheese, chili powder and kosher salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Keep the food processor running and add the oil and water through the feed tube. Mix until blended and a dough comes together.

Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out the breadstick dough. With a pizza cutter, cut the breadsticks into strips. Roll each strip into a long, thin snake. Place each snake on the prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle with coarse salt and press slightly to adhere.

Bake breadsticks for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crunchy. Makes about 40 breadsticks.

Note: To make gluten-free breadsticks, use 1/2 cup rice flour, 1 cup chickpea flour, 1 cup corn flour and 1 tablespoon tapioca starch in place of the all-purpose flour.