Author Notes: What better way to experience the marvelously rich, buttery aroma of organic Kamut flour than in a classic shortbread cookie. Kamut flour is an ancient ancestor of our modern wheat, containing 20-40% more protein and a heck of a lot more flavour. After experimenting with both spelt and Kamut flour, I found that it is necessary to adjust the classic ratio of butter and flour when using high absorption flours to make shortbread. An additional quarter cup of flour per cup is sufficient to provide structure without yielding a dry cookie. The final result is a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread with an entirely new flavor and texture to savor. —Sam Woods
cups sifted Kamut flour (10.5oz)
cup unsalted butter, preferably cultured (8oz)
cup granulated white sugar (100g)
teaspoon fine sea salt
- Remove the butter from the fridge and cut it into 1 inch cubes. Let the cubes warm at room temperature until they are pliable but still cool to the touch.
- Butter a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
- Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Use a whisk to ‘fluff’ or slightly aerate the flour.
- Place the butter in the bottom of a medium mixing bowl. Using a handheld mixer, beat the butter for approximately 1 minute on medium speed until it is smooth and slightly fluffy. Scrape down the bowl halfway through. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl to ensure that all the sugar is incorporated.
- Dump the flour into the bowl with the butter. Using a large wooden spoon or a stiff spatula, gently stir the ingredients until no streaks of flour or butter remain. The dough will be crumbly, and will gather in clumps rather than form a ball of dough.
- Carefully turn out the clumps into the center of the prepared tart pan. Spread the dough so that it is evenly dispersed and press it down with your fingertips, gently but firmly. Use a piece of plastic wrap to prevent the dough from sticking to your finger tips.
- Place the pan on a small baking tray, and refrigerate it for 20 minutes. Remove the tray from the fridge and use a small knife to cut the dough into 12 wedges. Return the tray to the fridge for at least one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Remove the tray from the fridge. Sprinkle a thin layer of granulated sugar over top the chilled dough.
- Bake the pan on the tray in the preheated oven for 60-65 minutes, or until the top of the dough is golden brown with darker brown edges.
- After the tray is removed from the oven, wait at least 15 minutes for the pan to cool slightly then carefully cut along the lines that separate the cookies with a sharp knife. Lift the pan off the tray and let the cookies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
- The cookies will be delicate, so handle and store with care. They will keep for one week in an airtight container.