Shortcrust pastry is a dough made of flour, fat, sugar and liquids (usually eggs, but not necessarily). It is called shortbread because it is a dough without structure and strength. The choice of ingredients affects the quality of taste, while the balance of them gives it structural quality. There many variations of shortcrust pastry, depending on the final result you want to obtain. The basic dough is 3 parts flour + 2 parts sugar + 1 part butter + liquids, but the most used dough is the so-called Milanese dough composed of 1 part sugar + 1 part butter + 2 parts flour.
Here are some rules to change the recipe of shortcrust pastry according to your needs:
- the quantity of eggs to add should be calculated by adding the weight of butter, sugar and flour, divided by 10
- if the quantity of butter is less than half the weight of the flour, more liquid must be added (every 25g of butter less, 10g of eggs must be added)
- if the quantity of butter is more than half the weight of the flour, the liquids must be reduced (every 25g of butter must be removed 10g of eggs)
- to make a cocoa shortbread: if the weight of cocoa does not exceed 10% of the weight of the flour, simply replace the part of flour corresponding to the cocoa, if it exceeds it add a quantity of liquids three times the weight of cocoa in excess (e.g. 800g flour + 200g of cocoa + 500g of sugar + 200g of eggs + 400g of eggs to balance the addition of cocoa)
- to make a shortcrust pastry with dried fruit: if the fruit is in pieces or grains it is simply added. If it is powdered every 100g you add, remove 20g of flour (e.g. 960g flour + 200g almond powder + 500g butter + 500g sugar + 200g whole eggs)
- to make a shortbread with hazelnut paste: add 20% egg white compared to the weight of the paste. This is true only with hazelnut paste. Pistachio, pine nut or almond paste do not require variation of the recipe, because the quantities are minimal (e.g. 1000g flour + 500g butter + 500g sugar + 200g whole eggs + 160g hazelnut paste + 32g egg white).
- 330g flour
- 200g butter
- 120g icing sugar
- 3g acacia honey
- 6 yolks
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 lemon (peel)
- Salt q.s.
HOW TO MAKE SHORTCRUST PASTRY
In a bowl (or planetary bowl) put the soft chopped butter, sifted icing sugar, honey and mix quickly.
In the meantime, add the salt to the yolks, stir to melt and pour it all into the bowl.
Cut along the length of the vanilla bean and extract the seeds with the help of a knife, add it to the butter and egg mixture, pour the grated lemon peel (be careful not to grate the white part of the it otherwise it will give a bitter taste to the shortcrust) and stir.
Sift the flour and incorporate it into the rest. Work the shortcrust pastry as quickly as possible so that the butter does not soften too much.
Remove the dough from the bowl (or planetary bowl), form a compact piece of dough and wrap it in baking paper or transparent film. Let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
In case you have any leftover shortbread, you can freeze it.
Your shortcrust pastry is ready for use!