• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Kerry Beal

Shortbread - Bake-off XV

18 posts in this topic

The holidays approach fast, and it's never too early to start planning for your holiday baking. Shortbread is one of the standard baked items that many of us associate with Christmas.

RecipeGullet has no less than 6 shortbread recipes, from lavender to green pea, and then there is the amazing malt shortbread made by mette in the eG Pastry and Baking Challenge number 3. I must confess that the shortbread I make year after year, the same one my mother always made, is simply butter, sugar and flour.

Do you make shortbread? Do you add flavours to it or do you think simple is better?

Don't hesitate to add your recipes to recipeGullet.

So let's hear it folks!

Edited to thank Alanamoana for the suggestion.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some may think it's heresy, but I have a special fondness for whipped shortbread. I like its melt-in-your-mouth-ness, and it's especially yummy with coloured sugar sprinkles :smile:.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually enjoy some of the variations on basic shortbread with add-ins (nuts, lavender, lemon, etc.), but IMHO, that's not really shortbread. Real shortbread is the plain, unadulterated flour/sugar/butter/pinch of salt recipe, and nothing more.

This is my recipe, adapted slightly from a cookbook I got in Scotland many years ago. The rice flour gives it a lovely, crumbly texture.

Traditional Scottish Shortbread

1/2 cup flour, sifted

1/4 cup rice flour

1/4 cup superfine sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

Combine flours, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Work in butter until dough has the consistency of shortcrust. Sprinkle board with rice flour. Turn dough onto board and knead until smooth. Divide into four portions and shape into small rounds. Place on greaseproof paper in a baking tin. Prick with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until cakes begin to brown slightly. Allow to cool in tin.


MaryMc

Seattle, WA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My family's shortbread is butter, sugar, and flour. The butter is kept cold and it's mixed like pastry dough, then pressed into a pan. It comes out wonderfully flaky and crumbly and rich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you make shortbread?  Do you add flavours to it or do you think simple is better?

I like simple shortbread to munch on but I do a variety of non-traditional types for use with desserts (brown butter, peanut butter, cornmeal, etc). I'll have to see what I can come up with, this sounds fun.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you make shortbread?  Do you add flavours to it or do you think simple is better?

I like simple shortbread to munch on but I do a variety of non-traditional types for use with desserts (brown butter, peanut butter, cornmeal, etc). I'll have to see what I can come up with, this sounds fun.

I think I'd make sick with brown butter shortbread. I can't think of many pure flavors that are more seductive.

Against my (much) better judgement, can you point me to a recipe? :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long tradition of shortbread in my family. My grandmother had Scottish blood, and she made a round of shortbread for each of us kids every Christmas. Amazing bounty, a whole dessert to yourself!

I like shortbread in all its guises, particularly flavored shortbread. A favorite of mine has tiny chocolate chips in it . . .

I'll need to try the malt shortbread recipe -- I love malt and just bought a new bag of it . . .


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made shortbread last Christmas for the first time in my life. I did some with superfine sugar, brown sugar and even one with confectioner's sugar. All were hits and delicious. I even dipped some in chocolate, sprinkled some with colored sugars, added lemon (zest and juice) and added nuts to others.

I need to find my recipes and post them.


Whoever said that man cannot live by bread alone...simply did not know me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My shortbread is butter, sugar, flour, and a touch of vanilla. When at room temperature it is soft enough for a cookie press, when cold it is firm enough to press into a pan or can be scooped like a drop cookie.

It's very easy -

1 part sugar

2 parts butter

4 parts flour

1 teaspoon vanilla per cup of sugar

Bake at 350 for 12-15 min.

Theresa :biggrin:


"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a bunch of different cookies for friends for Christmas last year, and my brown sugar short bread got the most compliments. I have made recipes with all kinds of add-ins and had planned on doing lemon zest or candied ginger with these, but just ran out of time to get to the store before I had to bake. I also don't really use a recipe, but a loose formula like tmriga's above. It's about the same, but I generally don't add vanilla and do add a little salt. I used about 2 parts brown sugar and one part white for this batch last year.

Plus, I like shortbread because you can make it so pretty. I have a couple of shortbread round forms that are great, but have also just spread it out on a cookie sheet and decorated/scored it to suit the occasion. Once I made a baby quilt for a shower. Just scallopped the edges and used the score marks to make the patches. Decorated with different colors of sugar, it was adorable.


"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have any tips for using the stoneware shortbread pans? I've used them with mixed results, the shortbread doesn't seem to fully bake for me in them. I was expecting it to come out more like a sable cookie but that wasn't what was happening at all.

thanks,

Michelle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think I'd make sick with brown butter shortbread. I can't think of many pure flavors that are more seductive.

Against my (much) better judgement, can you point me to a recipe?  :wacko:

It's actually as simple as replacing the butter in your favorite recipe. Make brown butter, chill it and proceed business as usual. I also replace the white sugar with sucanat (brown sugar would work too), don't add vanilla (not that it would hurt, just my preference) and up the salt a bit when I do the brown butter version.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  Real shortbread is the plain, unadulterated flour/sugar/butter/pinch of salt recipe, and nothing more.

Hear! Hear! :smile:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have any tips for using the stoneware shortbread pans? I've used them with mixed results, the shortbread doesn't seem to fully bake for me in them. I was expecting it to come out more like a sable cookie but that wasn't what was happening at all.

thanks,

Michelle

Just bringing this back, one, because it's that time of year and two, I also need tips on using a shortbread mould. I made my traditional flour, sugar, butter recipe, rolled it into a rough 9" circle and pressed it in. Didn't work so well as not all of the pattern showed. Is it better to just dump the mixture before forming a ball while it's still crumbly and then press it in? Any tips?


Edited by CanadianBakin' (log)

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does this bake-off extend to more biscuity type sablés? I think these are great fun:

sables.JPG

Pâte sablée :

Vanilla

- 1500g flour

- 1000g butter

- 500g icing sugar

- 5g salt

- 60g egg white

- Vanilla to taste

Chocolate

As above but with 100g cocoa powder instead of the vanilla.


===================================================

I kept a blog during my pâtisserie training in France: Candid Cake

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love sables, I make some every year. I love shortbread, like the rest of you I usually do flour, sugar, butter pressed into a pan. The last batch I made took sour cream. I got the recipe in a tea book I bought. It was tangy, thick the texture was ok, but it was a bit too tangy. Not my classic that I love so much. I have a recipe for brown sugar out of this months Cooks Illustrated that I want to try. I will try to post up a picture when it is done.


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By nonkeyman
      How to Make Rye Sourdough Bread
      I don't know what it is about bread, but it is my favorite thing to make and eat. A freshly baked loaf of bread solves a world of problems. I was lucky enough to get to be one of the main bakers when I worked at the Herbfarm. We baked Epi, Baguettes, Rolls, Pretzels and so much more.
       

      Rye Sourdough Wood Oven Baked Bread
       
      My fondest memory when I worked there was our field trip to the Bread Lab(wait something this cool came out of WSU, of course!) here in Washington. They grow thousands of varieties of wheat and have some pretty cool equipment to test gluten levels, protein, genetics and so on. I nerded out so hard.
       
      What came out of that trip was this bread. Now I can't recall the exact flour we got from them, but using a basic bread and rye will do the trick. We used to get a special flour for our 100 mile menu. This was where we were limited to only serving food from 100 miles away. So finding a wheat farm that made actual hulled wheat in 100 miles was a miracle. The year before...the thing we made, was closer to hard tack.
       
      Now if you don't have a starter, I recommend starting one! It is a great investment!
       
      Rye Sourdough
      1000 g flour (60% Bread Flour, 40% Rye)
      25 g salt
       
      75 g of honey/molasses
      200 g of Rye starter 
      650 g of water, cold
      Equipment
      Baker Scale (or other gram scale)
      Bench Cutter
      Bread Razor (you could also use one of those straight razors)
       
      Start by taking the cold water, yeast and Honey and mix together and let sit for 10-15 minutes
       
      I know, some of you just freaked out, cold water? Won't that kill the yeast.
       
      Nope, the yeast just needs to re hydrate. I prefer using cold water to slow the yeast down. That way the lactobacillus in the starter has  a good amount of time to start making lactic acid, and really get to flavor town!
       
      While that is sitting, I mix the flour and the salt together(How many times I have forgotten to salt the bread).
       
      Now mix the two products with a kneading hook for 3-5 minutes, only until thoroughly mixed but not yet at the window pane stage of kneading.
       
       
      Instead, place into a bowl and set a timer for one hour. Then when that hour is up, push the dough down and fold all the corners in
       
      Repeat this step 2-3 more times, pending on the outside temperature.
       
      If you happen to have those cool bowls to shape round loafs! Awesome, use them. I would break the boules into 3 balls of about 333 grams
       
      If not then just put the dough in the fridge and do the steps below the next day.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      Once you have bouled the bread, can put it into the fridge and let it sit over night
       
      Again, this lets the bacteria, really get to work(misconception is the yeast adds the sour flavor, nope, think yogurt!)
       
      Now on the next day, heat up whatever form of oven you plan to use. We used a brick oven but if you just have a normal oven, that is fine. Crank it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
       
      If you have not bouled your bread yet, go back and watch the video and break the dough down into three balls of abut 333 grams. Then place the balls on a lightly greased sheet pan. Let sit for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

      If you have used the fancy bowls then turn the the bread out on a lightly greased sheet pan, without the bowl and let temper for 15-30 minutes.
       
       
      If your oven is steam injected, build up a good blast of steam.
       
      If not, throw in a few ice cubes and close the door or put a bath of hot water inside.
       
      The steam is what creates the sexy crust!
       
      Let it build up for a few minutes!
       
      Right before you put the bread into the oven use a bread razor to slice the top of the bread.
       
      Place the dough balls into the oven and douse with another blast of steam or ice and close the oven.
       
      Let them bake for 13 minutes at 450 degrees. Then turn the loaves and bake for another 10 minutes.
       
      Remove when the crust is as dark as you want and the internal temperature exceeds 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
       
      Now pull out and make sure to let cool off of the sheet pan with room to breath underneath. You don't want your crust steaming!
       
      Now here is the hardest part, wait at least 20 minutes before getting into the bread. Also, cutting into bread to early really seems to come out poorly. I would rip the bread until 1-2 hours has passed.
       
      Now serve it with your favorite butter, goat butter or whipped duck fat!
       
    • By Catherine T
      Hi, I have just discovered and registered on this site. My main cooking and baking concern is that I have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and haven't been able to eat gluten. BUT I have discovered an exception. When I have visited Continental Europe such as Spain and Russia, I have been able to eat their bread and have had no negative repercussions. Then when I try eating bread in Great Britain and North America I have become sick. My research on the Web has not provided any explanations although I believe the EU has banned GMO grains. I was recently gifted panetonne from a Toronto restaurant called Sud Forno that uses Italian flour and I was able to safely eat it. Another bakery called Forno Cultura advertises that it uses European flour. So I am going to approach them to see if I can buy their flour in bulk. I will let you know how it goes.
    • By borgr
      I want to leave my sourdough (itself, not baked loaves of sourdough bread) for a while (going abroad) but I do not want it to die, can I leave it in the freezer? do you have other ideas?
    • By hazardnc
      Having no local Arabic bakery, I have long hoped to learn to make good khoubz at home. Every time I try, however, my bread is too stiff and tough. I have been successfully making other breads using The Bread Baker's Apprentice, and now wonder if my bread woule benefit from an overnight ferment in the refrigerator.
      FoodMan (and anyone) can you help me?
    • By FrogPrincesse
      San Diego has a small number of artisanal bread bakeries. Bread & Cie has been my favorite for years, and their breads are now available in many supermarkets, which is very convenient. But it's nice to have some variety. So I was excited to spot a new bakery this weekend in Linda Vista. It's called Pacific Time and it is also a sandwich place with a small market with things like small-batch preserves, local beers, a cheese counter, charcuterie platters, and wine. It's located within a recently renovated strip mall that also hosts Brew Mart & Ballast Point.
       
      The bread I bought was a French-type rustic boule, dark, a bit reminiscent of Poilane but less dense. The crust could have been a little more crispy (it felt like the bread had sat around a little bit and softened in the paper bag), but the flavor was wonderful.
       

       

       
      Here is the bread:
       
       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.