Wednesday, May 13, 2009


People ask me on a regular basis about the ingredients I use to make RACHEL GAFFNEY IRISH BUTTER SHORTBREADS. It's very simple. I use 3 ingredients. Easy right?
Flour,butter and sugar. How hard can that be?

Shortbread is one of the oldest recipes, one of the simplest and also one of the hardest to get right. Trust me on this ! Whatever your product or service , a really good product or service uses the very best.

There is a saying that mum used all the time "Buy cheap,buy twice" How true. How many times have you experienced this with a pair of shoes, or handbag etc. It looks good, its the right price but in a short time its broken. Well, the same can be said for your ingredients. When making shortbreads, I only use UNBLEACHED,UNBROMATED flour. No compromise. Why unbleached,unbromated?

Bromated flour is flour that has been enriched with Potassium Bromate. This promotes gluten development and is frequently used by bread bakers. Potassium Bromate is classified as a potential carcinogen. Whilst it is still legal in the U.S it is banned in most countries in Europe.
Bleaching flour is also common. Chemicals such as Chlorine Dioxide and Benzoyl Peroxide are added to bleach flour. Unbleached flour is matured and unbleached naturally by oxygen merely being present in the air. Another old saying TIME IS MONEY. Well it certainly applies here. To unbleach naturally ,it takes months. The product then occupies valuable warehouse space. Now manufacturers bleach the flour in minutes by adding the above chemicals.

I began making TRADITIONAL IRISH BUTTER SHORTBREADS using only the fnest ingredients and will continue to do so. Thanks to the AIB (American Institute of Baking) for helping me through my years of research and a special thanks to Tim Huff of General Mills for his patience a few years ago when I flew to Minneapolis to learn about flour !