GBBO week 2 Biscuit Week

What a fab second episode of GBBO it was! I loved the freestyle round of dunking tea biscuits followed by the technical Viennese Swirls (one of my favourites!) and then then Gingerbread showstoppers. WOW! I have had my fair share in Gingerbread disasters but I do love them and the hit of spice they give.  One of my childhood favourites was the Viennese Swirl which my Mum would buy and the Mr Kipling brand was the business!  I love biscuit recipes as they don’t often involve too many ingredients and you after you have tried the recipe once or twice you can tweak it according to your taste and add on your favourite things as well.  So Biscuits are great for amateur and experienced Bakers alike….yeyyyy!

As someone who doesn’t like really sweet biscuits I find Shortbread a great tasting and simple bikkie. Shortbread is also a fairly simple recipe that even beginners to Biscuit making (like ME!) can have a go at. It keeps really well and actually tastes best a day after baking, making it a great recipe to bake in advance for any occasion. I love that these quintessentially British bikkies are so easy to make and I have tried to break down the steps in this recipe to make it even easier, I hope!.  When I was initially researching a good recipe, I found the best recipe from Anna Olsen here.  There are only a few steps but I have added a few extra photos to show you in a bit more detail and I thought it was especially important to show what the biscuit dough should look like.  It was hard when reading Anna’s recipe to work out exactly what the consistency should be but after my first attempt I got the hang of it and I hope I have explained my version of Anna’s recipe in enough detail. Please do let me know if you give it a try!

 

shortbread PM2

 

Anna Olson’s recipe can be found in the link mentioned above, but here are my notes when I followed it. Please note that these are my personal changes to the ingredients and method and you may want to change according to your own preferences. So…. get ready…set…. BAAAAKE!

 

Notes on the ingredients (my changes/notes are in green)

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter – I used Lurpak brand
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar – I found the sweetness not quite enough. I used Tate & Lyle brand light brown soft sugar and used 3/4 cup.
  • 1 ¼ cups plain flour – I have used different brands of flour each time and it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I needed more flour when I made it and I used 1.5 cups.
  • ¼ cup brown rice flour I used 1/2 cup as the biscuits weren’t quite crisp enough for my liking and didn’t have the ‘snap’ factor I was looking for. I also used plain white rice flour – not the brown kind.
  • ½ tsp salt – This may be more salt than you may be used to, but make sure you do put in the whole 1/2 tsp as it makes all the difference!

Notes on the method:

1. I set my oven to 140 degrees Celcius – but ovens vary so do set accordingly.

2. When whisking the butter and sugar, this is the kind of light fluffy consistency that Anna Olson mentions:

shortbread PM4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I whisked the butter and sugar for 6 minutes just to ensure everything is combined well. This whisking is what will hold the biscuit together and prevent too much crumbling.

3.  After sifting in the dry ingredients, whisk them together with the butter mixture until crumbly. It should not be like a cake batter but more like a cookie dough. See my photo below for the texture you’re looking for. I needed to add more flour (see notes on ingredients above) as the texture wasn’t quite right for me when I used 1 ¼ cups.

shortbread PM5

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Anna Olson asks for the biscuit to be baked for 1 hour but I found this a little too much so 50 minutes was enough for me.

shortbread PM6

shortbread PM7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These biscuits really do melt in the mouth and the smells the emanate from the oven when you are baking them are just divine! Thanks so much Anna O and I hope I have done your recipe justice.  If you try these out do let me know what you think in the comment box below 🙂

Thank you, S x

shortbread PM3

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