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Thyme Cheddar Twists

My favorite food group by far has to be any form of carbs. I love pasta, bread, potatoes, crackers,… the list could go on and on. I admit that I get Martha Stewart Magazine (subscription courtesy of my grandmother)and I love to scour through it each month. I admire what her and her crew do (besides the jail stint)and I have saved tons of her recipes. Now, many of them are not only ridiculously hard but with some pretty random ingredients. I don’t have the time or money to get some of these ingredients but I still like to try them. This is one of those recipes.

She used sharp white cheddar; I substituted the white cheddar for a cheddar-jack blend I got at Costco and had on hand. She uses all white flour; I substituted one of the cups with wheat flour, which is pretty standard for me. I try to put wheat flour in everything if I can because I figure every last bit helps. This last time that I made them I also substituted rosemary for the thyme. One thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to follow the recipe exactly for it to taste good. If you don’t feel confident doing that with every recipe, try it with one you know well. Substitute one ingredient for another that you think sounds good. It’s really quite a liberating experience.

These rolls are absolutely delicious and are relatively easy to make. My husband and I enjoyed just eating them as snacks by heating them up in the toaster oven. So tasty!

Thyme Cheddar Twists
(Adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine)

1 cup milk
4 tablespoons sugar
2 envelopes active dry yeast (2 scant tablespoons)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
3 large egg yolks
Vegetable oil, for bowl
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese, about 4 ounces (choose your favorite)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (or substitute about 1 tablespoon dried thyme or rosemary)
2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it registers 110 degrees on an instant read thermometer; transfer to a bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar. Sprinkle with yeast; let mixture stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Process flour, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, and butter pieces in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal (you can also do this by hand with a pastry blender or two forks). Add milk mixture and the yolks; process until combined. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to form a 15 by 18 inch rectangle. Brush surface with melted butter. Sprinkle half of dough evenly with cheese, thyme, and pepper.

Fold dough in half horizontally, bringing the non-cheese side over the cheese side. Roll out to form a 10 by 18 inch rectangle. Cut into 26 10-inch long, 1/2-inch wide strips.

Twist 2 strips around each other; pinch edges to keep strips from unraveling. Shape twist to form a spiral; transfer to a greased baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining strips.

Brush twists with egg wash. Bake until deep golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes.

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