Thursday, June 26, 2008

Scotch Shortbread with Danish Butter

Today I volunteered at the Mill City Museum in the baking lab. When groceries were delivered one of the items received was Lurpak butter from Denmark. Of course we had to do a taste test. Several of us had a little bit of the butter alone and on bread. The flavor was very similar to Land O'Lakes unsalted butter (which we had as a comparison)but the Lurpak had a creamier texture. Lurpak is the brand used on all butter exported from Denmark. It is made from fresh cream that is pasteurized and soured with lactic acid. This creates a fresh aromatic taste. The manufacturer says it is considered the best butter in the world due to rigorous taste testings and rigid standards.

I made Scotch Shortbread to try it for baking. The shortbread had a delicate flavor and seemed to be flakier than with unsalted butter. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any notes about the % butterfat in Lurpak but the nutritional information on the package is the same as Land O'Lakes.

Scottish Shortbread from Baking Basics and Beyond (copyright 2006)

Shortbread is the most basic cookie—made only of flour, sugar, and butter. Traditionally, the dough was pressed into a circle and cut into wedges before baking, but I like to cut it into bars because they are smaller and easier to eat.


4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups unsalted butter

Heat oven to 350°F with oven rack in middle.
Beat flour, sugar, and butter in bowl of a heavy-duty mixer on Medium speed until crumbly and evenly mixed, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice.
Press dough, about 3/8 inch thick, into an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan. The dough will not fill the whole pan. I usually press to fill the width and about 3/4 of the length. Cut into 3 x 1-inch bars, using a pizza wheel. Prick well with a fork.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are just beginning to brown. Classic shortbread is very pale. While bars are still warm, cut again. After cutting, the bars can cool in pan on wire cooling rack.

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