The very simplest shortbread
I had a few slide into the DMs looking for a more detailed recipe when I uploaded my shortbread so…your request is my command!
This is the simplest recipe in the world, no fancy pants mixer required – just good old elbow grease! I have left mine plain as I really don’t think you need to add anything to shortbread but if the notion takes you, you can add any amount of extra fancies…
Cinnamon, cranberries, chocolate chips, raisins, lemon or orange rind, mixed spice…add about a tablespoon and mix well into dough.
· Don’t sieve your flour – this adds pockets of air that expand in the oven resulting in ‘raised’ biscuits
· Use your butter straight from the fridge. And don’t try to substitute butter for margarine or ‘spreadable’ butter. Just go with it, real, proper butter for these! Who’s counting the calories?!
· Try not to overwork the dough – the less it’s handled the shorter your biscuits will be
· Keep a real close eye on this when they are coming near the cooking time – they can change from pale to burnt in a flash
· Put them in an air tight box. Out of site. In someone else’s house. Or you’ll eat them all!
8oz real butter (from the fridge)
3oz caster sugar
3oz corn flour
9oz plain flour
1. Cube the butter and add the sugar. Use the back of the wooden spoon to cream the butter and sugar together; you only want to do this until the butter and sugar come together. Any more mixing adds unnecessary air into the dough which will cause air pockets when cooking
2. Add in the flours. Bring together using your hands. If you find it really isn’t coming together add in a tablespoon or two of cold water but don’t add too much – again, water evaporates when heated creating steam resulting in air pockets giving a ‘raised’ biscuit.
3. Bring the dough into a flat disk and cover with cling film. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes just to harden the butter slightly. Preheat your over to 160oC (fan)
4. Line a large baking sheet with silicon sheet or baking paper and liberally cover your workspace with flour. Roll out your dough to it is 1cm thick and using whichever cutters you desire, cut shapes from the dough. Try and get as many cuts from the first roll as the more you roll the dough and work with it, the tougher it becomes
5. Using a fork, prick a few holes in the biscuits and place in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until just starting to change colour. Keep a close eye as they can catch quite quickly.
6. Sprinkle with caster sugar as soon as they come out of the oven. Transfer to a rack and leave until completely cool
7. Now the biggest challenge….try to stop at eating just 1!