To celebrate the launch of our new shortbread biscuit range, we thought we'd share some of our best tips on how to make a elevate the humble Shortbread into something truly superb. There are any number of shortbread recipes available online, but you'll get a better result, regardless of which recipe you follow by keeping to some simple rules:
- COLD BUTTER IS BETTER: Chill your butter down in the fridge before you beat it with the sugar. It can be tempting to allow your butter to soften at room temperature as it mixes more easily, but the colder the butter is, the better texture shortbread you'll get at the end of the process. Grating the chilled butter into the mix can help here. A perfect shortbread texture should have the balance of crispiness, crunch & crumbliness & avoid being soggy or soft at all costs!
- PASTRY FLOUR AS A BASE NOT STRONG BREAD FLOUR: Use the best quality pastry flour you can buy. It has a lower protein content (8-9% usually) than strong bread flour & it will absorb less liquid, further helping us to achieve our perfect texture. If you can't find pastry flour use plain flour as a substitute. (Any rice flour added will impart the classic Scottish "sandy" texture element.)
- SORT OUT YOUR SUGAR: Caster works best for a classic shortbread. Granulated is too course & if you use dark brown you'll likely end up with more of a cookie than a shortbread (too much molasses & moisture). If you're feeling fruity you could opt for a soft brown, which will caramelise during the bake. We find this works best if you're adding a real flavour bomb like ginger to the recipe, which results in a biscuit with a real depth of flavour & colour.
We hope you find these tips useful next time you decide to get your scales out! You can visit our Tearooms in Stratford upon Avon, Cheltenham, Witney, Stow on the Wold & Burford if you'd like to try a Huffkins Shortbread for yourself, alternatively you can find our Shortbread tubes on our online shop here.