1stickunsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4" dice(4 ounces, 8 tablespoons)
3ouncesMimolette, or other hard cheese (see headnote), shredded on the medium side of a box grater (1 cup)
In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt and herbs. Add the butter, and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with some barley-sized butter bits remaining. (Alternately, you can do this in a food processor or stand mixer, but add in the water by hand to avoid over-processing.) Toss in the shredded cheese, then sprinkle in the water bit by bit, tossing with your fingers or a wooden spoon, until the dough begins to clump together and no loose, floury bits remain. (You may not need all the water.) Gather the dough into an oblong, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic, and chill for 15 minutes. (You can probably chill it for up to a couple of days, if you like, or freeze for up to a couple of months. If you do either, let the dough stand at room temp until soft enough to roll out.)
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and preheat to 400º. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
Lightly dust a work surface with rye flour, and roll out the dough into a rectangle with a long side facing you, about 5 x 24" and 1/4" thick. Using a pizza wheel or chef's knife, cut into 1/2" wide strips. Roll the strips under your fingers into straws, lengthening them to about 10" long, and place on the pan an inch or so apart.
Bake the straws until golden brown, 18 - 22 minutes, rotating front to back and top to bottom halfway through. Let cool completely on the pans (they will crisp up as they cool), then store in an airtight container.
These are awesome on the day they are baked, and will keep, in an airtight container at room temperature, for a day or two. You can re-crisp them in a 300º oven if they soften.
Adapted from The Herbal Kitchen.Use any hard cheese that you like the taste of in place of the Mimolette, such as gruyere, aged cheddar, asiago, dry jack, or manchego.For some possible variations, see the above post.Nutritional values are based on one of forty eight straws.