Shortbread is a classic Scottish dish. It is served with hot drinks as a warming treat. The dough can be made into small biscuits or the whole round. For variety add grated orange or lemon rind to the dough, or sprinkle the top with flaked almonds before putting into the oven.
» 200g/7oz/two thirds cup butter
at room temperature.
» 60g/2oz/one quarter cup ground rice.
» 85g/3oz/generous one third cup caster (superfine) sugar and extra for decoration.
» 175g/6oz/one and a half cups plain flour.
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C or 300°F or Gas Mark 2.
2. Grease and line a baking tray.
3. Using a wooden spoon or handmixer combine the butter and sugar until the mixture is light, fluffy and creamy.
4. Add the flour and ground rice to the bowl and, using a round bladed knife, form it into a dough.
5. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball.
6. Flour a flat surface and your hands. Place the dough on the surface, kneading it round, turning it over, but not over-handling it.
7. Flour the dough and the surface again and form it into a round with a rolling pin. When rolling turn the dough 45° each time it is rolled. This will prevent it from shrinking while it bakes.
8. Place the round on the prepared tray and using the back of a spoon handle make slight indents all the way around the edge.
9. Score the round into 8 segments using a sharp knife.
10. Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cook until it is slightly golden at the edge but still quite soft in the middle.
11. Once it is ready, take it out and cut it into the segments straight away.
12. Leave the shortbread to settle for a while, and after about 10 minutes sprinkle the top with sugar.
13. Serve warm or cold.