9oz plain (all purpose) flour
3oz caster sugar
6oz unsalted butter (NOT MARGARINE)
Mix flour and sugar. Rub in butter and knead with warm hands until thoroughly combined and smooth (no cracks) overwork rather than underwork.
Divide into two equal parts and press into the bottom of 2 x 7 lightly buttered cake tins (it should be quite thin). Flute edges with your knuckle. Prick all over with a fork and mark each one into six sections. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake at 160C for 30 mins. When done it should just start to brown and look a little risen and spongy. Leave to cool just a little then retrace the sections right through the shortbread (do this before it gets cold as the cake becomes very brittle and will break when you try to cut it). Turn out the sections when cold.
NOTE: ENGLISH CAKES MUST ALWAYS BE MADE WITH BUTTER UNSALTED IF POSSIBLE.
Contributed by Sue Barnes
See also: Alternative butter shortbread recipe
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