Back to Basics Baking - Shortbread
Happy New Year everyone! Treat Kitchen has lots of exciting things happening in 2023 including our brand-new Treat Kitchen Bakery! Located in the heart of vibrant Sneinton Market in Nottingham; our Bakery Project Manager Fran will be whisking up delicious treats for all occasions and hosting workshops so you can try your hand at being the new Mary Berry or Prue Leigh!
With new year’s resolutions in full swing, we thought we give a lending hand to our aspiring bakers with our new Back to Basics Baking Blog feature. We also have range of fantastic baking kits available on our website too!
Now back at work after a lovely Christmas break, I am still not sure what day it is but what I do know is that it was National Shortbread Day recently!
Shortbread is just a classic bake which reminds me of raiding my nan’s biscuit tin – which probably was an old shortbread tin. You know the ones… with the tartan sides and a highland scene on the lid filled with the rafters with biscuity delights. It won’t surprise you then to know that yes shortbread originates from Scotland!
Head back to the Middle Ages, and shortbread’s story begins ‘biscuit bread’ – people added sugar to left-over bread dough and left it dry out to become a rusk. Over time the dough element of ‘biscuit bread’ was lost and exchanged for butter, making it an expensive fancy treat (somethings haven’t changed!) that was only bought for celebrations such as Weddings, Christmas and Hogmanay.
The large amount of butter in the recipe makes the biscuit ‘short’. Shortening is a common process in baking especially with pastries and biscuits and is described as a fat (like butter or lard), solid at room temperature, which can be used to give foods a crumbly texture and melt-in the mouth flavour.
Enough of the history lesson – let me give you the recipe! We also created a quick how-to video on our socials so check out those out here!
- 125g unsalted butter, softened and cubed butter
- 55g caster sugar, plus extra for decorating
- 180g plain flour
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5.
- Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth, light and fluffy
- Add the flour to create a breadcrumb texture. You can add flavourings like vanilla extract or zest or even chocolate / nuts at this point for some extra flavours and textures. Squeeze the mix together until it comes a dough.
- Wrap your dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes – this makes it a lot easier to roll out later.
- Once chilled, light dust your surface and roll out your dough until it is 1cm
- You can use your favourite cookie cutter to make shapes or cut into shortbread rounds or fingers and place onto a baking tray. Prick the biscuits with a fork – this allows any steam to escape and prevents the biscuit from bubbling whilst it is baking
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with caster sugar and enjoy!
I hope you have enjoyed your first Back to Basic Baking Blog! Remember to tag us in any of your Treat Kitchen baking triumphs @treatkitchengifting #treatkitchengifting we would love to see your delicious bakes!