Thursday, August 25, 2011

Classic Shortbread


I had my first baking experience inside a real industrial kitchen this week. And I'm hooked. I arrived at the cafe early Thursday morning, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed (pre-coffee). The day started with spanish tortilla, then salted focaccia, ricotta cake, olive oil cake, peach galettes, and so on... When the prep duties were done, I rode off into the sunset. And by sunset, I mean pouring downfall of rain and ominous grey skies. Hurricane Irene is comin...

Didn't matter. I was on cloud nine. I came home, jotted down everything I could remember from the morning, rode to Brooklyn Kitchen to pick up a few supplies, and started with my first brioche. Since the brioche was gonna be a 2-day process, I decided to also make the classic shortbread recipe out of Tartine.

Ingredients

1 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 + 2 tbsp AP flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar (for topping)

Procedure

Preheat oven to 325° and butter a 6x10 inch glass baking dish (I used 8x8, which worked fine). Place butter in a mixing bowl and mix in salt until it dissolves completely. Add the 1/3 cup granulated sugar and mix until just combined. Then sift together AP flour and cornstarch, before adding it to the butter. Mix until a smooth dough forms.


Pat the dough evenly into buttered glass dish and bake until the top and bottom are lightly browned, about 30 minutes.



Let cool on wire rack (or stove top if you have a gas range). Once the shortbread is warm to the touch, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar to coat the top surface evenly. Tip and pour out the excess sugar.


Cut the shortbread right away with a very sharp knife. It crumbles very easily and just gets harder to work with as it dries.



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