Saturday afternoon, husband was watching the Six Nations on television and I thought I would too, however it wasn’t a good match, the fingers were itching to bake, so off I went. I had some dough to make first for homemade pizza that evening, so once that was made out came the Bible to see what the next recipe would be to bake.
There were no biscuits in the house, a fact I had been told of on numerous occasions during the last few days, so I decided to bake some shortbread biscuits. These are called special, although I’m not sure why, the only reason I can think of is the fact they are made with light muscovado sugar rather than caster (although Mary does say that you can make them with caster sugar if you wish).
First things first, the oven was put on to preheat at Fan 140° and two baking trays were lightly greased.
Three ingredients were all I needed for this recipe (well four if you count the Demerara sugar sprinkled over the top). The first ingredient into the bowl was 175g plain flour. To this I added 75g light muscovado sugar after spending five minutes finding it in the back of the cupboard – I have bought lots of storage containers from Lakeland which are brilliant – I have different containers for chocolate, dried fruit, seeds, sugar etc etc, which all stack on top of each other, but this bag for some reason had been omitted and was sat right at the back of the cupboard behind all my bags of flour.
The flour and sugar were given a quick stir and then 100g butter, cubed was added. This was rubbed in with my fingertips and then Mary says to knead gently until it comes together to form a dough. Well, I think my kitchen must have been freezing as I kneaded and kneaded the dough after rubbing the butter in and it kept falling apart. Eventually (I think when the butter had begun to soften after all the kneading) the dough did come together, although it was still a little crumbly.
The dough was turned out onto a lightly floured board and rolled out to a thickness of 5mm. Thank goodness for my JosephJoseph rolling pin with its measuring discs on the ends. Using this I knew that my dough would be the correct thickness. Once it had been rolled out and it was rather fiddly as my dough kept splitting as it still wasn’t soft enough, I managed to cut out some fluted round biscuits using a 5cm fluted cutter. Mary says at the beginning of the recipe that this should make 30 biscuits – I manage to make 22.
The biscuits were put onto the baking trays and lightly pricked all over with a fork. The last thing to do before putting them in the oven was to sprinkle demerara sugar over the top of them. Once this had been done they were put into the oven for 15 minutes. A quick check on them revealed that they weren’t quite done so I left them in for 3 more minutes, after which time they had started to change colour.
Once removed from the oven they had to be put onto the cooling rack. Once cooled (which didn’t take long) I couldn’t resist having a taste. They were delicious and once the rest of the family found them they didn’t hang around for long. I think this would be a lovely recipe to bake as a gift for someone special, presented in a lovely tin.
This was the last recipe from the Shortbreads and Bars section of the book, another chapter I’ve finished!
If I make them again, I will definitely soften the butter first as I think this will help with the dough at the beginning.