Parmesan and Thyme – a delicious combination
I’ve made this parmesan and thyme shortbread a few times recently when having friends over for drinks. The kids have asked that I make some more for their lunchboxes. The beauty of this recipe is that you can prepare the dough a day or two in advance, then cut the prepared dough into rounds when you’re ready to cook.
I use wholemeal flour whenever I can, but you can also use white flour. These biscuits are also delicious with chopped rosemary.
The origin of shortbread
Shortbread is believed to have originated in the British Isles around the 12th century as a ‘biscuit bread.’ Biscuits made from left-over bread dough were sometimes sweetened and dried out in the oven to form hard, dry rusks. The word ‘biscuit’ from Old French bescuit, derived from the Latin, bis, meaning ‘twice’ + coctus, meaning ‘cooked.’ Over time, the leavening was lost and exchanged for butter, making it an expensive treat reserved for celebrations such as Christmas and Hogsmanay (Scottish New Year). The large amount of butter is what gives shortbread its name: the term short, when applied to biscuits and pastry, means crumbly, like shortcrust pastry should be.
I think I’ll make a few batches of this shortbread for Christmas gifts. If you prefer a sweet biscuit with a dough that you can prepare ahead, you might like to try making these almond and fruit tea biscuits.
PS: PS: If you’ve tried making parmesan and thyme shortbread or any other recipe from At Amanda’s Table, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below. And, if you’d like to read more, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter for stories, recipes and tips for simple, nutritious meals.If you’d like to read more, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter for stories, recipes and tips for simple, nutritious meals.
Parmesan and Thyme Shortbread
- 250 g unsalted butter
- 250 g grated parmesan cheese
- 190 g wholemeal plain flour
- 95 g rice flour
- 2 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- Mix the butter, flours, cheese, thyme, salt and a little black pepper in a food processor until the dough is wet and crumbly.
- Lightly flour a surface and turn out the dough. Knead the dough until it is one solid mass, then divide into two.
- Roll the halves into logs about 3cm in diameter.
- Wrap the logs with baking paper and twist at the ends to enclose. Refrigerate for an hour or until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two trays with baking paper.
- Remove the log from the fridge and slice the log into rounds about 7 mm thick.
- Place the biscuits on the tray approximately 2 cm apart (the biscuits will spread).
- Cook biscuits for 12-15 minutes until they are golden in colour.
- Rest the biscuits on the trays for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
- Store the biscuits in an airtight container for up to a week.