National Baking Week: Try this delicious shortbread recipe from Ruth’s Little Kitchen

PUBLISHED: 17:29 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:40 15 October 2020

Shortbread, some drizzled with chocolate. Image:Ruth Macintyre

Shortbread, some drizzled with chocolate. Image:Ruth Macintyre

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Award-winning baker Ruth Macintyre hosts online courses filmed at her Brockham HQ

Ruth Macintyre. Image:Nicky SmithRuth Macintyre. Image:Nicky Smith

National Baking Week (October 14 to 20) aims to encourage people of all abilities to bake at home and so we’ve teamed up with Ruth Macintyre, World Bread Awards winner and founder of Ruth’s Little Kitchen, to bring you a quick and easy shortbread recipe to get you started.

Whether you’re a complete beginner, learning the ropes at university, or are more experienced baker who want to expand their skills, Ruth’s Little Kitchen usually runs courses from its HQ in the picturesque village of Brockham but has now gone digital, offering a range of online classes to easily access and enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

From the classic lockdown banana cake to the delicious shortbread with chocolate drizzle and traditional white bread loaf, Ruth’s Introduction to Baking classes include 12 step-by-step videos in total, to fit around your own schedule.

“I strongly believe in encouraging individuals of all ages to enjoy cooking, especially during this time when we are all spending more time at home and in need of some more positivity,” says Ruth, who was crowned Surrey’s Bread Hero in the Tiptree World Bread Awards 2020 for the incredible work she did during lockdown..

“My ethos is simple and authentic: cook, teach, share, and eat. Baking doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that, and I can ensure that there will be lots of fun on the way.”

Ruth’s Little Kitchen Shortbread

There are so many variations to shortbread, but this is a very easy one with the ratios of 3:2:1. A highland version would be to roll the dough into a cylinder, lightly brush with milk and rolls in demerara sugar. Chilling the shortbread will allow the gluten to relax, giving a softer crumb. It will also help keep the shape of the biscuit.

Ingredients:

125g butter

50g caster sugar

175g plain flour

Extra for dusting after

Equipment: Rolling pin, bowl, fork, baking tray.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 160C Fan. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper

2. Sieve flour into mixing bowl, stir in sugar.

3. Add butter in small lumps and then rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs.

4. Try and gather the dough together in a ball

5. If too stiff add 1 tbsp of milk and mix together into a ball.

6. On greaseproof paper roll out mixture into a circle, mixture should be 1.5cm thick. Don’t worry if it is not perfect.

7. With the side of fork prongs press into the dough all around the diameter. Then prick the surface.

8. Move onto a baking tray.

9. Chill – at least 30 mins but the longer the better – could be overnight.

10. Bake for about 30 min or until straw colour and a tinge of golden brown round the edges

11. After removal from the oven, leave on tray for a couple of mins before moving onto a cooling rack.

12. Either sprinkle with caster sugar or leave plain if drizzling with chocolate

Online classes cost from £85 and are also suitable for students aged 14 and above to achieve the skills section of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, including bronze, silver, and gold.

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