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Desperately seeking Mrs Beeton Cheese Straw recipe

(12 Posts)
HeffalumpsnWoozles Sat 19-Dec-15 16:37:44

My mum always made these at Christmas and despite many attempts since she passed away I can't get them the same. I'm positive she used the Mrs Beeton recipe but can't find it anywhere.

They where made with cheddar & soft and quite light (unlike mine!) so anything that comes out that way would be good. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

teacherwith2kids Sat 19-Dec-15 16:44:57

I have a Mrs Beeton's Cookery and Household Management book, 1980 edition open in front of me, at the recipe labelled 'Mrs Beeton's Cheese Straws'. Would that do?

HeffalumpsnWoozles Sat 19-Dec-15 16:49:32

That would be the one, it was the 1980's I remember her making them. I'm getting excited now that I wasn't imagining it, she used that book all the time.

teacherwith2kids Sat 19-Dec-15 16:49:41

Do you have metric or imperial scales? My experience is that Mrs Beeton recipes work best if translated 'back' into imperial even if re-written into metric, but in this case it won't matter because the same amount of each ingredient is used:

50g butter
50g plain flour
50g soft qwhite breadcrumbs
50g cheshire or Lancashire cheese
1/4 tsp each cayenne pepper and salt
Flour for rolling our.

Rub butter into flour, then add breadcrumbs. Grate and add cheese, followed by flavourings. Work thoroughly by hand to make a smooth dough. Chill for 30 mins.

Roll 5mm thick, cut into straws about 3mm x 5cm. Bake for 7-10 mins at 180 degrees. Cool on baking sheet and serve cold.

teacherwith2kids Sat 19-Dec-15 16:53:37

There is another recipe for cheese straws too (in the same book). That one is:

100g plain flour
pinch each dry mustard, salt, cayenne
75g butter
75g grated Parnesan
1 egg yolk
10 ml spoon cold water
Flour for rolling out

Sift flour and seasonings together. Cream butter until soft and white, then add flour, cheese, egg yolk and enough cold water to form a stiff dough.

Roll out c. 5mm thick and cut into fingers about 10am x 1 cm. Bake for 8-10 mins at 200 degrees until nice and crisp. (It also talks about making a few rings to thread the cheese straws through)

teacherwith2kids Sat 19-Dec-15 16:55:04

So it might well depend on how big you remember them being as to which recipe she was most likely to have used? The second one is more 'normal', the use of breadcrumbs and no liquid in the first would spook me slightly!

HeffalumpsnWoozles Sat 19-Dec-15 16:59:52

That's brilliant thank you so much Teacher, I remember there being mustard, egg and butter....no breadcrumbs & it was definitely cheddar she used rather than Lancashire or Parmesan. Going to be making them tomorrow so will report back. Thank you again, very much appreciated.

teacherwith2kids Sat 19-Dec-15 17:05:11

I was a bit surprised by the Parmesan, tbh - not a very 1980s ingredient, except perhaps out of one of those cardboard drums! I know that my mum would have used cheddar as a substitute for something like cheese straws.

(If you find it doesn't work too well, then if you have access to imperial weights, then 4 oz of flour and 3 oz each of the other ingredients, and a dessertspoon of water, may well give you a better result. Let me know if it works, because if it doesn't, I can consult my mum's Mrs Beeton after Christmas - she has a 1950sish edition. Did your mum's have a brown cover (dust jacket with a glazed ham on it) or was it white or blue?)

teacherwith2kids Sat 19-Dec-15 17:10:52

Ah, misremembered - Good Housekeeping was white.

My mu's Mrs Beeton is this one.

Mine is very similar to this

teacherwith2kids Sat 19-Dec-15 17:19:34

(Family tradition of being given a Mrs Beeton when leaving home - my grandmother had a 1920s edition)

HeffalumpsnWoozles Sat 19-Dec-15 17:56:56

It can convert into oz so should they not turn out as expected I'll try that. She used to use really mature cheddar and my dad and I used to pinch them from the cooling racks while they where still warm, got slapped over the knuckles with a spatula a few times but it was worth it.

The book I remember is the same as your version, I took a lot of her recipes when she passed away but can't find the book anywhere now. It must be in the loft somewhere along with lots of handwritten recipes as I moved to a house with a smaller kitchen.

I'll definitely let you know how they turn out, I'm also sure she switched the plain flour for SR so they rose and had a lighter texture.

HeffalumpsnWoozles Sun 20-Dec-15 09:25:05

Alas no they didn't turn out the way I'd hoped. They are nice but not the same, can't have been Mrs Beeton after all? The search goes on!

I'm now wondering if it's a recipe she had from my nan? Going to have to brave the loft and sift through everything. Thanks again for your help.

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