Perfect Shortbread: the Art and Science of Baking


Contrary to popular belief, I have not grown up in a Scottish family with an old family recipe for cake. Originally, the oil chicken seemed easy to me. How difficult would it be to throw together butter, sugar and flour to create a delicious cookie?

It is not difficult. But there is some scientific activity, and I'm here to tell you about the science and history of pastry sweets. Imagine the literature and the creative writing of a maniac who teaches science … I throw the coffee out of my nose with the stupidity of everything while writing. This article focuses on the science of sweethearts in non-scientific language. I hope the insights gathered from the trials and mistakes will be of benefit to all beginner bakers.

I was initially attracted to baking, because this is an exact science. You follow the recipe of T and you will get a perfect baked good, right? At first I could bake a perfect baguette if I followed the directions, but the sky helped me if I had to be creative with spices and spices for meals. When I first started cooking, I never understood how people tasted their work and just intuitively knew what was needed. That's what got me baking. For this novice cooking, he feels more accurate and scientific than the creativity of throwing food together from my imagination.

Originally the company from Vermont began as a seasonal business from my own kitchen. In the mid-1990s, I did not even have a kitchen mixer. I mixed the dough by hand. And anyone who knows the fat can confirm that the dough is very heavy, without any liquid ingredients. In those days, I had the size of the trunks of the trees from all this manual mixing. The good thing was that I learned exactly what consistency the dough had to be to make the best dough. I learned exactly how much the manipulation could take the dough before tiring and making a tough round of dough. I learned not only by watching, but also by feeling and, of course, by taste.

As the business grows and people realize that the dough is a perfect gift throughout the year, the call to bake during the warmer months became obvious. However, the summer dough of sweet dough did not always look as good as in winter. Most people did not notice, but after having baked thousands of rounds by hand, I was not happy with my summer jam. It took me a few years to realize that here are four factors contributing to the texture, color and taste of the final dough product: moisture, hot oven points, oil temperature and mixing time.


I do not know what the chemistry behind is, but I can tell you that it's much harder to create a perfect circular pie when the weather is damp. Maybe moisture makes the flour less fluffy … I do not know. I can only tell you that the damp meat is not as nice, golden and tasty as the sweet meat. For this reason, when I built my commercial bakery, I installed dehumidifiers in the bakery. So now, regardless of the season, we produce the perfect candy every time.

Hot furnaces for furnaces:

When I started baking home-made pastry in the 1990s, I had only a small household electric Whirlpool oven. I could only thoroughly three 8 "circle once, while production was slouooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. All ovens have spots that are hotter than drugi.Tova is intimately learned where all the hot spots of my oven are with each batch of shortbread moved position on every pan in the middle of the baking time to ensure even darkening my product every time.electric model has been retired to arrange the sky in 2005. Now with my commercial stove (a big imperium ski gas model), I can bake up to forty-eight "rounds at once in a environment with better convection (air flow around the elements). Still, I move the pans around the middle of the baking period until I know where the hot points of this new oven are.

Oil temperature:

When I started baking the dough, I loved to remove the oil from the refrigerator for several hours before planning to use it to make it soft. Remember that I was mixing by hand and wanted to make it as easy as possible. When I started baking summer pastries, the oil became liquid and started to separate. This did not make a good texture in the final product. I do not know how to explain this scientifically; I can only tell you how I felt. The end product is dense and too heavy. What I really wanted was the fresh golden flake on the outside with some chewing inside. I learned that if I was to bake in the summer, I had to use butter almost directly from the refrigerator. If the butter became too soft, I had to throw it in the garbage and start over. Then I bought my first mixer with a dough hook to make the job of mixing hard oil easier. Oil directly from the refrigerator, not too hard, not too soft, is the only way to make a perfect cake. Again, I just had to learn how I felt how long I let the oil sit on the counter before it was perfect. Longer in winter, shorter in summer.

Mixing Time:

Any dough mixed too long or insufficiently affects the finished product. With dough, first mix the sugar and butter together. This is the easy part. The hard part is knowing how to turn on the flour. I like to do it one pound at a time (remember that it is now baking in pounds of flour, sugar and butter, not glasses). Once the dough is fully embedded and forms a ball without a bite of flour on the side of the mixing bowl, I know it is ready for baking. Now that I have Trixie (my commercial mixer) I had to rethink the time. Trixie can mix bricks. My hands and my old kitchen could not. So now the mixed time is much shorter. Dough dough (as with any dough) becomes more difficult as you mix it. The trick I learned from the experience and the mistake is finding the right time for the dough. I'm not an expert on the whole dough, but I've perfected the dough for dough.

You know, the most fun in this training how to make the perfect dough is that I have never had a real training. Now that I hired a professional bakery, she taught me a few things to make the process more efficient and make the final product more delicious and beautiful. When I think about it, that's almost how we learn: I just do it again and again.

When science and imagination work together, we create art for food. With the approaching of the holidays, this scientist and dreamer have to retire to the baker to create new masterpieces. I hope that this essay gives you creative insights into your own dough (oil or otherwise) and a little look inside the art and science of perfect dough from a small firm from Vermont that makes every commodity with love, imagination and gentle care little science thrown ).

Copyright 2006 En Zuccardy, Vermont Black Company. All rights reserved.