The shortbread dough is one of the most important and most used dough base of the Italian pastry making.
As it happens with many other kind of recipes, there is no universal short bread recipe: there are people who prefer using much more butter in their dough, others who don’t want to use too many eggs. By the way, everyone as its own version!
Shortbread originated in Scotland, with the first printed recipe, in 1736, from a Scotswoman named Mrs McLintock. Shortbread is widely associated with Christmas and Hogmanay festivities in Scotland, and the Scottish brand Walkers Shortbread is exported around the world. Shortbread resulted from medieval biscuit bread, which was a twice-baked, enriched bread roll dusted with sugar and spices and hardened into a hard, dry, sweetened biscuit called a rusk. Eventually, yeast from the original rusk recipe was replaced by butter, which was becoming more of a staple in Britain and Ireland. Although shortbread was prepared during much of the 12th century, the refinement of shortbread is credited to Mary, Queen of Scots, in the 16th century. This type of shortbread was baked, cut into triangular wedges, and flavoured with caraway seeds. Shortbread was expensive and reserved as a luxury for special occasions such as Christmas, Hogmanay (Scottish New Year’s Eve), and weddings. In Shetland, it is traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the entrance of her new house.
I prepared the shortbread in many different ways and, at the end, I found my very own special shortbread recipe….and I will never change it again!
300 g (2cups) triple sifted plain flour (I use the 00)
150 g (2/3 cup) butter
80 g (3/4 cup) icing sugar
Use a stand mixer to mix the flour together with the butter cutted in pieces. Mix until it twill come up as a sandy mixture.
Add the icing sugar and, at the end, the egg.
Mix quickly until smooth and compact; create a ball, wrap it with cling wrap and allow it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
You can use now your shortbread dough to prepare a big variety of sweets, such as sweet pies, cakes, biscuits, pastries or anything else your imagination can create!