Sunday, June 20, 2010

Comparing Flours in Shortbread

Last weekend we traveled to Minnesota to celebrate my niece, Mackenzie's, graduation, and I did not make shortbread. Mom and I did some antiquing in the Waseca, Minnesota area, and I found these lovely Elle, Norway, plates. I've been looking for fun plates to photograph shortbread on, and these will be the ones. I love the hand painted designs.

Yesterday was, once again, shortbread day. This week I did a flour comparison. I've been using standard (bleached) all purpose flour for shortbread baking. I found this Eagle Mills Ultragrain unbleached flour, and decided to give it a try.

I'm please with the results! The shortbread is much closer in color and texture to the benchmark I'm using: Walker's. My shortbread made with white, all purpose flour almost melts in your mouth. Shortbread made with the Ultragrain flour is more substantial. It really has the traditional weight and texture I've been looking for. Yet it's not dry, but deliciously buttery.

This week I "embellished" the shortbread with melted chocolate and almonds. Doesn't it look delicious!

Mission accomplished! Here is my going-forward basic shortbread recipe:

Oven temp: 300 degrees F
Pan: 8-inch cast iron skillet

Cream in food processor:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Add and process just until blended:
1/4 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup unbleached flour
(1/4 tsp salt if using unsalted butter)

Form into a flat disk and pat into skillet. Poke top with toothpick several times.
Bake for 42 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into 12 wedges.
Allow to cool in skillet.

Next week we'll start on shortbread variations.

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