Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shortbread: Biscuits wrapped in Lies

One of the first cook books I ever purchased was David Herbert's Complete Perfect Recipes. This cook book is indeed what the title proclaims it to be, 250 simple, solid recipes that work, enclosed in a small, no fuss, square, soft cover publication with black and white photography. I've made a number of recipes from this book including his Shortbread recipe.

For the majority of my life, I have believed that Shortbread are buttery biscuits wrapped in lies. It isn't bread, it's a delicious biscuit. Why would the Scottish People lie to us? So after a little research I discovered Shortbread originated from a medieval biscuit bread which was a twice baked bread roll, rolled in sugar and spices. I'm gathering it was as unappetising as it sounds as the yeast was eventually replaced with butter, resulting in the lovely buttery biscuits we know and love today. Let us now embark on a visual field trip into the world of Shortbread.

250g of butter combined with 1/2 cup caster sugar, 2 cups plain flour and 1/2 cup of rice flour.

After resting the dough for 20 minutes, I rolled it out on a floured bench, cut out my shapes and gently placed them on a lightly oiled baking tray.

Three trays in a preheated oven set at 150°C for 15-20 minutes.

The result? Delicious buttery Shortbread. Still wrapped in lies, but ignore this issue. I suggest you make your own and enjoy.

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