These biscuits are wonderfully crisp, with a slight chewiness given by the pieces of parmesan and sharp chedder running through the dough. These are great as they are but you can also add any additional flavours you fancy. Something with a gentle, smokey heat like garlic or parika works well, or something savoury like a small handful toasted pinenuts enhances the intense saltiness of the parmesan and even something fresh like thyme or rosemary is fantastic as it contrasts the richness of the chedder. The savouries are ridiculously addictive so just make you stake your claim on at least one. I only managed to eat three before the other twenty five were gobbled up.
75g or 3 oz plain flour
A generous twist of black pepper
150g or 4 oz grated cheese (Parmesan and Chedder in your preferred proportions)
75g or 3 oz butter, at room temperature
Any additional flavourings or toppings you fancy
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan oven)/ 190°C/ 375 Fahrenheit/ gas mark 5 and lightly grease two baking trays
Sift the flour in a mixing bowl to thoroughly mix them and then rub in the soft butter using the pads of your fingers. If you are making the entire batch of savouries in one flavour, then you can mix it in at this stage. If you are planning on making a few different flavours from the same batch of mixture, then you will need to separate the dough accordingly before adding your chopped herbs, spices or whatever you feel like using. I went for fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped chilli and smoked sea salt
Next, add in the grated cheese. If you want more of rustic texture, then you can coarsely grate the two cheeses but if you want something more smooth and refined, then finely grate the cheese before mixing it in. You can use all chedder, all parmesan or a mixture of the two to flavour the savouries. I tend to go for two thirds chedder and one third parmesan as this gives a great strong flavour, without the decadent extravagance of using just parmesan.
Depending on how you have grated the cheese, rolling will either be a doddle or more a flattening out and squashing by hand affair. As I tend to go for more a rustic feel, with small chunks of cheese running through the dough, my savouries are more squashed by hand than rolled out. You can use whatever method you find easiest really, you just want the mixture fairly uniform and about 4 mm or a quarter of an inch thick. Like pretty much everything about this recipe, the way you cut the savouries out is totally up to you. I used a 5cm or 2 inch smooth cutter, but you could always use something fluted for a more elegant feel or a knife to give rougher shards.
Arrange the biscuits on your baking trays, sprinkle any final toppings on and then bake in the oven for ten to twelve minutes, or until slightly golden, and transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool and crisp up. Store the savouries in an airtight tin and try not to eat them all at once.