There is the smallest chance I may have mentioned before how much I like shortbread, how much of a role shortbread play in our family. With the chocolate shortbread, I had to convince my mum that it would work but one taste and she knew I was right. With the apricot and walnut shortbread I knew I was taking a risk but I think the chunks of fruit and nut worked wonderfully. The brown sugar shortbread added a hint of caramel which I was always going to love and the ginger iced shortbread has proven itself several times over now. You'd think that de-glutenising shortbread would be a no-brainer - no gliadin and glutenin to form and develop the gluten would make it extra short, perfect. Yet the mass producing factories have had it all wrong. My coeliac housemate should know. She has sorely missed good tasting shortbread for ages.
I have tried making gluten free shortbread once before using the method where you chill a log of dough then slice off discs to bake because I thought that would sop it crumbling, along with the egg I added for structure. I don't know what I was thinking. I should have kept it simple, stuck to the true recipe. All it needed was a little xanthan gum - try it and you'll see. Lauren was over the moon when she saw the box of biscuits waiting for her on the table when she got back from a weekend away though said box didn't last long at all.
Personally I thought the dough behaved quite well. The only minor oddity was that it puffed up a lot during baking. With regular shortbread I know that is usually a sign the oven is at too high a temperature or the butter and sugar has been creamed too much but neither of those were an issue here. Whatever caused it, it settled back down and pretty soon it was baked, cooled and cut like a dream.
Gluten Free Shortbread
A recipe that couldn't be any more classic adapted to bring as much enjoyment to those who can't eat gluten.
- 4oz softened butter
- 2oz caster sugar
- 6oz gluten free flour
- 1 generous tsp xanthan gum
1. Set your oven to 170 C/150 C fan and grease a 8" sandwich cake tin or loose bottomed flan tin.2. Cream the butter and sugar together until combined (not light and fluffy like for a cake). Sift in the flour and xanthan gum and mix in. 3. Bring the dough together into a ball, kneading slightly if necessary. Press into the tin and smooth out until level. Mark into pieces and press holes in with a fork.4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 mins until lightly browned. If it puffs up, gently press back down and lower the oven temperature by 10-20 degrees. 5. Cool on a wire rack then turn out of the tin and cut into pieces.
For the same reason, I'm sharing this shortbread with Treat Petite where the theme this month is 'Loved Ones'. No matter how much we drive each other mad, Lauren and I are still good housemates and furthermore, making from scratch something that a gluten free loved one has had to go without is a good way to show you care I think. Stuart from Cakeyboi has the reigns this month, alternating with Kat from The Baking Explorer.