home > article > Calling All Recipe Detectives — The Search for One Badass Scottish Shortbread Part 2
- by Nancy, January 24, 2010
Food has long been baked in coals or under heated rocks, steamed inside animal stomachs and leaves, boiled in rockpots by heated stones, and so forth. An oven could be as simple as a hole in the ground, or a covering of heated stones. However, improved textures and flavours may not have been the reason fire was first controlled.
---A History of Cooks and Cooking, Michael Symons
This old range is for sale.
Being short on time, I’m going to be conducting my search for One Badass Shortbread by degrees (okay, pun intended, as you’ll soon realize.) Laura found a recipe for me to start with. My first obstacle though was finding out what was meant by a “slow” oven. Quickly hopping onto Food Timeline and doing a search for oven temperatures, I found so much information that I realized I will ultimately have to, gulp, guess (if you know anything about the scientific, accurately-measuring baker’s mind, you will intuit why this is so difficult for me.
And if you’re a baker too, you’re probably having a little sympathetic anxiety right about now.) In one old recipe, a slow oven is defined in parenthesis as being 325 degrees F. In another, however, a “moderately slow” oven is defined as 325 degrees F too. Scanning other recipes, I found even more disparity. Quick moderate? 325 degrees. Moderately slow in a different recipe than the first I mentioned? 350. Notes in the text specify slow ovens for drying out pastry and moderately hot for baking the center of the mixture by degrees (pun unacknowledged, BTW.) If you can help, send info to me by using the comments link under the title above. In the meantime, watch here for my, um, interpretations of open-ended suggestions for oven temperatures. You can quote me on that.
Want to see my final favorite recipe for Scottish Shortbread right now? Click here.
What is a Badass Cookie? Click here.