Herby and smokey straws/breadsticks

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Breadsticks and savoury straws – such a handy savoury snack aren’t they? Particularly for children, they provide that little something to fill rumbly tummies without an extra dose of sugar or resorting to fried snacks like a bag of crisps. We, however, have great difficulty finding breadsticks which don’t have traces of sesame and most straws are laden with butter and/or cheese.

These fine crunchy sticks are the perfect vehicle for carrying dips from bowl to mouth and would fit either as a snack to accompany an elegant aperitif or a savoury addition to a children’s tea party.

Have I given enough reasons why you should make these herby straws? Well, if those reasons aren’t enough – the recipe is a doddle and you can add any flavouring you like. Lots of variations possible… more spice, different herbs, cheese if you aren’t avoiding it.

Herby and Smokey Straws (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes about 24

  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp sweet smoked paprika (depending on how much you like that smoky flavour)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 100g dairy-free spread, such as Pure
  • 80-100ml water

– Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade/ Gas Mark 3/ 325 degrees Fahrenheit 
– Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment
– Either rub the spread into the flour, baking powder and flavourings/seasonings with your fingertips, or whizz all those ingredients together in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
– Gradually add the water until you form a soft, but not sticky dough. You may not need all the water.
– Roll out to a thickness of about 3mm, they need to be fairly thin as you want really crisp and crunchy sticks
– Cut into straw shapes and place on the baking sheet
– Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and cooked through
– Cool on a wire rack
– These straws keep well for a few days.

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Salt and Vinegar Crackers

Those with limited diets have so few options for savoury snacks – for us nuts are out of the question, most savoury options are cheesy and you can definitely have too many crisps. These little salt and vinegar crackers are super-tangy and savoury, and equally moreish and tempting – a little something to bridge the gap until meal time. This recipe uses nutritional yeast, which although doesn’t sound very attractive is such a useful weapon for giving dishes some savoury depth.

Salt and Vinegar Crackers (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

IMG_7190makes about 30-60 (depending on size!)

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp herbes de Provence
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 5 tbsps dairy-free spread
  • rock salt to sprinkle
  • oat milk to brush

– Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade/gas mark 5
– In a food processor, pulse together all the ingredients except the balsamic until it resembles fine breadcrumbs (or rub the spread into the dry ingredients by hand)
– Add the balsamic vinegar to make a dough
– On a floured surface roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thick and cut out shapes with mini cookie cutters
– Place on an cookie sheet, rush tops with oat milk and sprinkle with rock salt
– Bake for 10-15 minutes until starting to turn golden
– Cool
– These will keep well for a few days in a sealed container

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