Commentary: I just can’t help it. I love the way Nigella Lawson writes her recipes, “as uniform as possible without stressing over it…” That’s my idea of how to make things. It’s food. It should just be fun to do – if not, why are you bothering with it. I know it’s a cliche, but just keep it simple, really. Do love the use of the word cling film (is it a single word or not?).
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan
- 7 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
- 1 large egg yolk
Mix all the ingredients together – using bowl and spoon, electric mixer or food processor as wished – until a golden dough begins to form a clump.
Turn it out onto a surface and knead for about 30 seconds until smooth, then divide into two.
Take the first half and, using your hands, roll it into a cylinder, as uniform as possible without stressing over it, about 3cm / 1¼ inches in diameter. Make sure the ends are flat, too, so that the cylinder resembles a roll of coins. Now roll this up in a piece of clingfilm, twisting the clingfilm at the ends, like a Christmas cracker, and put the roll in the fridge, then proceed in the same way with the remaining half of the dough.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4/350ºF while the wrapped cylinders of dough rest in the fridge for about 45 minutes, by which time you should be able to cut them into thick slices easily: aim for about
1 cm / ½ inch thick.
Arrange on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, and put in the oven for 15–20 minutes, when they should be just beginning to turn a pale gold at the edges.
Notes: I think this recipe needed a little salt, perhaps just before the go in the oven – a little Maldon wouldn’t be misplaced. I’m a bit of a cheese cracker nut and did a total nerdy “cracker challenge” in 2012 and discovered that I like some nuts in my cheese crackers, so I put a bit of pecan on these. I think it made them a bit “prettier” or something like that. When I do them again, some cayenne will be involved.
That said, they went over very well as I made them. And they looked pretty damn good.