Shortbread

Shortbread

By
From
The Margaret Fulton Cookbook
Makes
2 cakes
Photographer
Geoff Lung

For good shortbread, made as my Scottish mother did, the dough should be kneaded with a lightness of hand and nice judgement for about 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and very buttery. Then it is pressed into a tin or directly on to a baking tray into a rectangle or round, and pricked or decorated. This makes a superb shortbread; crisp yet tender. If making ahead, re-crisp in a moderate oven 180°C for 15 minutes before serving. For a lighter shortbread, 1/4 cup of the flour could be replaced with the same amount of rice flour. For a gritty texture, use fine ground rice or even fine semolina. It’s up to you.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 cups plain flour

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter 2 x 18 cm sandwich tins or 2 baking trays. Cream the butter, and then add the sugar gradually, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Work in the flour gradually, and then, with a light hand, knead to form a dough. Divide the dough in half and pat each into a round. Press into the prepared sandwich tins or onto the baking trays. With the heel of the hand, push dough out until you have an 18 cm circle and the mixture is very smooth. Then smooth over the surface and edge with a palette knife. Crimp edges by pressing the edge of the dough with your finger, and then pinching the edge together. If using a sandwich tin, fork the edge for decoration. Prick the surface of the shortbread with a fork. This is done to release moisture as it cooks, making the shortbread crisp.
  2. Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 150°C, and bake for a further 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, dust with a little extra caster sugar, and cool completely on wire racks.
  3. To serve, do as the Scots do and break it into good-size pieces.
Tags:
The Margaret Fulton Cookbook
Margaret
Fulton
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