March 31, 2009


It’s a wonderful thing to bake treats for your dog. But if you like to multi-task, or rarely have a chance to bake for yourself let alone your dog, here’s a recipe that could go either way – as appropriate for humans as for canines, these beautiful twists flavoured with fresh rosemary and Parmesan cheese make savoury snacks for you as well as the pooch.
This basic baking powder dough could be used as a canvas to add whatever flavours you (or your dog) fancy; experiment with various fresh or dried herbs, different cheeses, and flours such as rye or oat. For nut twists, add 1/4 cup finely ground nuts such as pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts to the dough in place of (or as well as) the Parmesan cheese, and if you like, replace the canola or olive oil with walnut oil. For bacon-cheese twists, replace the oil with bacon drippings (while they are still liquid) and omit the rosemary.

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh rosemary
3 tbsp (45 mL) canola or olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup (125 to 165 mL) water, chicken stock or milk
(optional) coarse salt for sprinkling

Makes about 24 breadsticks.
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add any flavourings you like and pulse until chopped and blended in with the remaining ingredients. Add the oil and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (Alternatively, blend everything together in a bowl with a spatula or whisk.)
3. With the machine running, pour 1/2 cup of cold water, chicken stock or milk through the feed tube and pulse, adding extra if you need it, until the dough starts to come together. This will depend on your flour and what flavourings you added; I usually need 1/2 cup plus about 2 tbsp of liquid.
4. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, gather it into a ball and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Roll the dough out about a quarter-inch thick, sprinkle it with salt (if you like), and roll lightly to help the salt adhere. Cut into quarter- to half-inch-wide strips as long or short as you like, then twist the strips and place them on an ungreased baking sheet, pressing the ends lightly onto the sheet if they start to unravel. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.

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