• 175 g butter, softened

  • 90 g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

  • 2 medium egg yolks

  • 200 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

  • A generous pinch of salt

  • Grated zest of an orange or lemon

River Cottage Shortbread


  1. In a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on a medium-high speed until very pale and fluffy - you want it to be almost white - scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as you go. Lower the speed to medium and add the salt, egg yolks and zest. Beat for half a minute, then gently fold in the flour using a spatula. The dough will be very sticky.
  2. With floured hands, scrape the dough on to a floured surface and pat into a wide, flat disc. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of about 3mm and use a 6cm pastry cutter to cut out your biscuits. Use a palette knife to transfer to a nonstick baking sheet or one lined with baking parchment.
  4. Bake for seven to 10 minutes, until just golden around the edges but pale on top.
  5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle generously with caster sugar. Leave on the baking sheet to firm up for a minute or two, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.


24 biscuits




Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall