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Sourdough Cheese Straws

Sourdough Cheese Straws on a baking parchment-lined baking tray with smoked paprika jar in the background.
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A combination of sourdough pastry and cheese is what makes one of the best snacks in the world – Sourdough Cheese Straws, also known as Sourdough Cheese Sticks or Twists! Similar to our Cheese Straws with Cumin Seeds, these are made completely from scratch, using sourdough starter in the pastry and two types of cheese. Further flavoured with smoked paprika, these are our favourite treat to pack for a picnic!

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Versatility of Sourdough Cheese Sticks

A good cheese straw is by far one of Seb’s favourite savoury snacks on the go. Mine too! It has two of my favourite things in the world – cheese and pastry! And this time, our cheese twists, are made with a sourdough starter, giving them an extra layer of flavour. If you don’t yet have a sourdough starter, have a look at our guide on how to start one.

Cheese straws are great for a variety of situations. Seb takes them to work for a mid-afternoon snack. We take them on our long walks with the dog, picnics and other longer outings. Cheese straws are also great finger food for a party and something to snack on whilst your BBQ is heating up.

Sourdough Cheese Straws on a black slate wit hone of them on a small white plate.

Sourdough Leavened Puff Pastry

If you’ve ever made your own puff pastry, you will know that it can take patience, precision and a gentle hand when rolling. Yes, using sourdough adds time to your bakes, in the sense that the dough needs to be left for much longer to autolyse, ferment and prove. Having said that, sourdough puff pastry also has huge benefits. Not only does it add to the flavour (that signature sourdough tang!), but the long fermentation time makes the dough a lot easier to roll out.

These cheese straws are made with an active sourdough starter, the type of pastry that is typically used for Danish pastries or croissants. It is sometimes known as yeasted puff pastry (but of course in our case, commercial yeast is replaced by the sourdough starter). Puff pastry, sourdough or not, does take a bit of practice, but I wouldn’t be discouraged to try making it, even if you are a beginner. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, it is still a buttery delight and will taste great! 

One cheese straw picked up by a hand with the rest still on the baking tray in the background.

What Cheese To Use For Sourdough Cheese Straws?

Since it is just cheese and pastry, you want to make sure that the ingredients you use are of good quality and flavour that you LOVE! We always use strong mature cheddar in our cheese straws. We can absolutely recommend Snowdonia Cheese Little Black Bomber if you’re making these for a special occasion. As for the second type of cheese – cream cheese – standard Philadelphia or supermarket own-brand soft cheese will work just fine!

Method

Day 1

First thing in the morning feed your starter (100% hydration) so that it’s active and at its peak when you’re ready to make the dough. A good starter should double within 4-6 hours when fed.

When the starter has doubled in size, add it to 50ml of water and half of the strong flour (90g). Mix to a rough dough and leave covered with a tea towel at room temperature for about an hour to autolyse.

After an hour, add sugar, salt and the remaining flour (85g) to your dough and knead for a couple of minutes (you can easily knead this dough by hand as it should be quite firm and not sticky). Bit by bit, work in your butter. Keep kneading for about 10 minutes.

Detempre for Sourodugh pastry in a large metal bowl, half covered with cling film.

Shape the dough into a ball and pop it into a large lightly-greased bowl. Cover thoroughly and place it in a warm spot to prove for 5-6 hours. By the end, the dough should feel airy, soft and elastic.

Place it in the fridge until the next morning (for at least 8 hours, but up to 24 hours).

Day 2

Take the butter out of the fridge in advance to soften slightly. Place it on baking parchment, place another sheet of parchment on top. Using a rolling pin, gently roll it out into a 15x15cm (6×6 in) square. Take care not to break the butter, leave it to soften further if it’s too brittle to roll. When rolled, wrap it in the parchment and place in the fridge for a short while to firm up.

Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a floured surface. Stretch it and roll it out into approx. 25x25cm (10x10in) square.

Take the butter out of the fridge, unwrap it and place it in the middle of the dough square. Stretching one side at a time, fold the edges into the middle creating a square envelope (see photos below). Once you stretch and fold all four sides into the middle, pinch the edges together. You should now have a 20x20cm butter parcel.

Flour the top and using a rolling pin (stainless steel rolling pins are brilliant for rolling dough out, as it sticks less), very gently start rolling it out into a 40x20cm (16x8in) sheet. Be careful and gentle with the dough, making sure your rolling pin doesn’t stick and expose the butter.

Move the pastry sheet so that the short edge is facing you. From the short edge, hold 1/3 of the sheet into the middle, then take the opposite short edge and fold it over the first one (like a letter or a pamphlet). If your butter is very soft and the dough is hard to handle, wrap it in baking parchment and pop it in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes. If your kitchen is cold and you’ve worked fast, you can continue with the next step.

Turn the dough so that the short edge is closest to you. Roll the dough out into a 40x20cm (16x8in) sheet again. Fold the dough like a letter or a pamphlet (just like before). Repeat this process once again. Folded like a letter, wrap the pastry in baking parchment and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to firm up (ideally 8 hours or even overnight).

Assembly and Baking

Take the pastry out of the fridge and cut it in half (it will be a lot easier to manage). On a generously floured surface or a floured piece of baking parchment, roll each half out into a rectangle measuring approx 36x23cm (14x9in). Use half of the cream cheese to spread on the two rectangles in a very thin layer. Then use half of the grated cheese to sprinkle generously across the cream cheese. Using your palms press the cheese down so that it sticks to the cream cheese. Carefully turn the pastry over, spread the rest of the cream cheese and sprinkle the rest of the grated Cheddar and press down lightly to stick.

Cut each rectangle into even strips (you should have 16 in total). Holding one end on the surface, twist the other strip end to make a spiral. Repeat with the rest of the pastry. Then transfer them all onto a baking parchment-lined tray leaving 3-4 cm in between them. Sprinkle smoked paprika on top and place the trays in the fridge for 30 minutes (this helps them to hold their round spiral shape).

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Place the cheese straws in the oven for approx. 20 minutes. Resist opening the door for the first 16-17 minutes. These Sourdough Cheese Straws taste best when cooled completely. Warm cheese straws may taste a little too greasy.

How To Store Sourdough Cheese Twists?

The only drawback of these cheese straws is that they are the nicest when eaten on the day they’re baked. We eat them the next day too, and we love them still, although they’re no longer as crispy. Store any leftover cheese straws in an airtight container at room temperature. If you want to, you can always pop them in the oven for 3-5 minutes to crisp up again the next day.

Other Recipes for Snacks and Bites

For other snacks and bites, perfect for taking with you on the go, have a look at:

Sourdough Pastry Recipes To Try:

If you loved making sourdough leavened pastry, have a look at some of our best recipes using this pastry below:

Recipe Card

Sourdough Cheese Straws on a baking parchment-lined baking tray with smoked paprika jar in the background.

Sourdough Cheese Straws (Cheese Twists)

A combination of sourdough pastry and cheese is what makes one of the best snacks in the world – Sourdough Cheese Straws! Similar to our Cheese Straws with Cumin Seeds, however, these are made completely from scratch, using sourdough starter in the pastry and two types of cheese. Further flavoured with smoked paprika, these are our favourite treat to pack for a picnic!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Fermenting, Proving, Resting: 20 hrs
Total Time 19 hrs 20 mins
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, British
Servings 16 straws
Calories 212 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

For Detempre:

  • 190 g active sourdough starter 100% hydration
  • 50 ml lukewarm water
  • 175 g strong bread flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 10 g caster sugar
  • 25 g butter cubed room temperature

For Laminating:

  • 170 g butter

Extras:

  • 100 g cream cheese
  • 200 g mature Cheddar finely grated
  • 1 -2 tsp smoked paprika

Instructions
 

Day 1:

  • First thing in the morning feed your starter (100% hydration) so that it's active and at its peak when you're ready to make the dough. A good starter should double within 4-6 hours when fed.
  • When the starter has doubled in size, add it to 50ml of water and half of the strong flour (90g). Mix to a rough dough and leave covered with a tea towel at room temperature for about an hour to autolyse.
  • After an hour, add sugar, salt and the remaining flour (85g) to your dough and knead for a couple of minutes (you can easily knead this dough by hand as it should be quite firm and not sticky). Bit by bit, work in your butter. Keep kneading for about 10 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and pop it into a large lightly-greased bowl. Cover thoroughly and place it in a warm spot to prove for 5-6 hours. By the end, the dough should feel airy, soft and elastic.
  • Place it in the fridge until the next morning (for at least 8 hours, but up to 24 hours).

Day 2:

  • Take the butter out of the fridge in advance to soften slightly. Place it on baking parchment, place another sheet of parchment on top. Using a rolling pin, gently roll it out into a 15x15cm (6×6 in) square. Take care not to break the butter, leave it to soften further if it's too brittle to roll. When rolled, wrap it in the parchment and place in the fridge for a short while to firm up.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a floured surface. Stretch it and roll it out into approx. 25x25cm (10x10in) square.
  • Take the butter out of the fridge, unwrap it and place it in the middle of the dough square. Stretching one side at a time, fold the edges into the middle creating a square envelope (see photos above). Once you stretch and fold all four sides into the middle pinch the edges together. You should now have a 20x20cm butter parcel.
  • Flour the top and using a rolling pin, very gently start rolling it out into a 40x20cm (16x8in) sheet. Be careful and gentle with the dough, making sure your rolling pin doesn't stick and expose the butter.
  • Move the pastry sheet so that the short edge is facing you. From the short edge, hold 1/3 of the sheet into the middle, then take the opposite short edge and fold it over the first one (like a letter or a pamphlet). If your butter is very soft and the dough is hard to handle, wrap it in baking parchment and pop it in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes. If your kitchen is cold and you've worked fast, you can continue with the next step.
  • Turn the dough so that the short edge is closest to you. Roll the dough out into a 40x20cm (16x8in) sheet again. Fold the dough like a letter or a pamphlet (just like before). Repeat this process once again. Folded like a letter, wrap the pastry in baking parchment and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to firm up (ideally 8 hours or even overnight).

Assembly & Baking:

  • Take the pastry out of the fridge and cut it in half (it will be a lot easier to manage). On a generously floured surface or a floured piece of baking parchment, roll each half out into a rectangle measuring approx 36x23cm (14x9in). Use half of the cream cheese to spread on the two rectangles in a very thin layer. Then use half of the grated cheese to sprinkle generously across the cream cheese. Using your palms press the cheese down so that it sticks to the cream cheese. Carefully turn the pastry over, spread the rest of the cream cheese and sprinkle the rest of the grated Cheddar and press down lightly to stick.
  • Cut each rectangle into even strips (you should have 16 in total). Holding one end on the surface, twist the other strip end to make a spiral. Repeat with the rest of the pastry. Then transfer them all onto a baking parchment-lined tray leaving 3-4 cm in between them. Sprinkle smoked paprika on top and place the trays in the fridge for 30 minutes (this helps them to hold their round spiral shape).
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Place the cheese straws in the oven for approx. 20 minutes. Resist opening the door for the first 16-17 minutes. These Sourdough Cheese Straws taste best when cooled completely. Warm cheese straws may taste a little too greasy.

Nutrition

Calories: 212kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 5gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 258mgPotassium: 36mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 545IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cheese Straw Recipe, Cheese Straws, Cheese Straws with Cumin, Cheese Straws with Puff Pastry, Cheese Straws with Sourdough Puff Pastry, Easy Puff Pastry Cheese Straws, How to Make Sourdough Cheese Straws?, Puff Pastry Cheese Straws, Sourdough Cheese Sticks, Sourdough Cheese Straws, Sourdough Puff Pastry Cheese Straws
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18 Replies to “Sourdough Cheese Straws”

  1. 5 stars
    I love sourdough…I’m discovering all the different recipes you can make with it now. These cheese straws look absolutely delicious! Love this idea.

    1. This is one of our favourite ways to use our sourdough starter! Perfect snack to take to work! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Best cheese straws ever! Perfect for a snack with garlic dip.

    1. Garlic dip? I must try that! Sound like an amazing idea! Thanks, Beth! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    These look so delicious! I like your step by step instructions, makes it easy to make, Thanks!

    1. That’s brilliant, Danielle! Glad you found the tips helpful! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Well these certainly beat any cheese straws I’ve ever had before! Love this recipe and great instructions for making them. Perfect use for my starter!

    1. Thanks, Gina! So glad you liked them! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I love finding new ways ti use sourdough, thanks for this recipe, it was awesome!

    1. Tavo, I’m so glad you found this recipe! Enjoy! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I’m always looking for new ways to use my sourdough starter and these are one of my favorites! My family devoured these in one sitting…guess I need to make some more!

    1. Thanks, Emily! They don’t last long in our house either…

  7. 5 stars
    My kids love cheese straws and I love sourdough, so this looks like the perfect combination. Such great party food.

    1. Yes, Dannii! Up until now we only made them as stacks to take to work, but you gave me a wonderful idea to add them to my summer BBQ party menu! Thanks!

  8. Claudia Lamascolo says: Reply

    5 stars
    wow this is fate I stumbled upon I want to make these for a wedding appetizer and this is perfect timing thanks for this so much!

    1. Wow, that’s brilliant, Claudia! 🙂

  9. Can I put the dough in the freezer for twoish hours instead of 4 hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator? I really wanted to serve these tonight and I goofed on my timing.

    1. Hi Janet, put the pastry, well wrapped, in the freezer for 30 minutes, then transfer it to the fridge for the remaining time that you have. 2 hours in the freezer will make the pastry too solid and you won’t be able to roll it out easily. Hope they turn out beautifully for you! 🙂

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