I first tasted these on holiday in the Alps, where they were served with glasses of chilled Champagne. The biscuits were just the most perfect, salty, savoury contrast to the light fruity flavour of the wine.
Makes about 20 biscuits Prep 40 minutes Bake 10 minutes
75g plain flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
75g cold, unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
75g Gruyère, grated
1. Sift the flour and a large pinch of salt into a bowl or food processor. Add the butter and rub in lightly with your fingertips, or blitz in the food processor, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Incorporate the cheese, then bring the mixture together with your hands, or briefly process to a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
2. Heat your oven to 200°C and lightly butter 2 baking sheets or line with baking parchment.
3. Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a 5mm thickness. Using a 5cm biscuit cutter, cut out rounds and put them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving plenty of room for spreading.
4. Bake for 10 minutes or so, until spread out and lightly browned at the edges. Watch carefully, because these biscuits colour quickly. Grind some salt and pepper over them and leave on the baking trays for a few minutes to firm up slightly, then slide onto a wire rack. Leave to cool. Store the biscuits between layers of baking parchment in an airtight container and they will keep for a couple of days.
Taken from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake, published by Bloomsbury Photograph © Peter Cassidy