After over 10 years of teaching here at the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School, we have made a lot of shortbread. And we mean, a lot! Probably enough to fill our kitchen and then some more. The reason is simple – this is how we greet our students at the beginning of each course. It’s a lovely tradition which resulted in so many requests to share our recipe. The great news is, it’s a quick and easy recipe which you’ll be able to recreate at home in a flash! Have a look at the video below and follow Fiona for the most buttery, delicate shortbread you’ll ever try!
The Scots are very good at baking and shortbread is one of their best recipes! It is made using 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part sugar. The name comes from the fact that the amount of butter in the dough makes it very crumbly or “short”. It is unleavened and is different from Shortcake which includes some raising agent and is a denser texture. To make it shorter by cutting the amount of gluten in the dough, sometimes some of the flour proportion is made up of rice flour, ground rice or cornflour. Ground rice gives a more crumbly and even slightly gritty texture whereas cornflour makes it a little denser. Generally shortbread is available in three different shapes, petticoat tails, biscuit rounds and oblongs.
115g butter, softened
55g caster sugar
115g plain flour
55g ground rice
- Preheat the oven to 1700C/Fan oven 1500C/gas mark 3.
- Cream the butter and sugar together, using a wooden spoon, until light and fluffy.
- Sift the plain flour and ground rice together and add to the butter mixture. Bring together to form a dough.
- Divide the mixture into two and push each half into an 18cm/6inch flan ring. Smooth flat with the back of a spoon. Remove the rings and crimp the edges, press a fork all over the centre and mark into 6 petticoat tails. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes
- Put in the preheated oven and cook for 20 – 30 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar whilst very hot. Cut through the markings with a sharp knife. Allow them to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely.
- After mixing shape it into a sausage/cylinder shape and wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge. Once chilled cut the biscuits and put onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar whilst very hot. Allow them to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely.
- Or roll the dough out on a floured surface and stamp out shapes with a biscuit cutter. Put on a baking tray and put in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes Put in the preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar whilst very hot. Allow them to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely.
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