Shortbread

Shortbread

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

Eaten all year round but especially at New Year, Scottish shortbread is famous all over the world, but how many people really know how to make it the Scottish way? The dough must be kneaded for about 15 minutes until it becomes smooth and very buttery before it is pressed into a tin or ring and decorated. If you do as the Scots do, you will have a superb shortbread, crisp yet tender. If making ahead, recrisp in a moderate oven for 15 minutes before serving.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g butter
115g caster sugar
600g plain flour

Method

  1. Cream butter until it resembles whipped cream, then add sugar gradually, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Work in flour gradually, then knead dough for about 15 minutes or until very smooth.
  2. Divide dough into 2 pieces and press into 2 × 20 cm flan rings standing on baking trays, or sandwich tins. With the heel of the hand, push dough out until mixture is very smooth, then smooth over the surface with a palette knife.
  3. Remove flan ring and crimp edges by pressing edge of dough with the finger and then pinching edge together. If using a sandwich tin, fork edge for decoration. Prick surface of shortbread with a fork. (This is done to release moisture as it cooks, making shortbread crisp.)
  4. Bake in centre of a preheated moderate oven (180°C) for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to slow (150°C) and bake for a further 40 minutes.
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