‘It’s not fair!’, cried The Yak, stamping his coeliac foot and crossing his coeliac arms. ‘Everybody except me gets to eat your shortbread at Christmas.’ Pouting doesn’t normally work in this household but I am nothing if not kind. Also, I had previously set myself a challenge and it was time to woman up.
Gluten free shortbread has arrived and the Yak is once again a happy man.
The experiment started with golden butter from New Zealand that glittered like Smaug’s treasure. Then basically, I just substituted the plain flour in my regular recipe with a quality brand of plain gluten free flour.
Methinks the key is to only knead the mixture for a minute or two, just enough to bring it together. It also requires a bit longer baking than my usual shortbread.
A batch was sent along to the Yak’s place of employment….although he is a begrudging sharer. The feedback was glowing. (At least that’s what The Yak told me.) They are delicate and moreish, and the Yak thinks every bit as delicious as the gluten laden version.
I concur Sir Yak, I concur.
The big test? Neither Kid 1 or Kid 2 clocked that they were GF…..a pretty good test in my books.
Sure, you can find store bought gluten free shortbread these days but I challenge you to accept the challenge that I challenged myself to. (You still there?). The enjoyment that this therapeutic bake provides, let alone the scrummy eating, far outweighs any convenience from buying it pre-made.
And as a very famous French woman was once reputed to have said ‘Let them eat shortbread’. (Well, she would have if she’d tasted this shortbread).
250g butter, unsalted
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 3/4 cup gluten free plain flour
1/4 cup rice flour
Preheat oven to 180C.
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and sift the flours together into a bowl.
Cream the butter and add the sugar gradually, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. (I use a mixer for this.)
Work in the flour gradually and with a very light hand, knead to form a dough. (I do this in the bowl.)
Divide the dough in half, roll each half out to a 3-4 cm log. Wrap in clingwrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
Slice the logs into 1-2 cm thickness, depending on your fancy, place 10mm apart on a baking tray and prick each piece all over with a fork.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until crisp and straw-coloured.
Cool down on wire racks.
Makes about 20-25 pieces.
adapted from The Margaret Fulton Cookbook