High Blean B&B Bainbridge: Shortbread Biscuits.

A number of guests have commented positively about the biscuits we provide on the hospitality tray and I have been asked for the recipe.

Here is the recipe for the “original” biscuits we provide, and a ginger variant, for those partial to  a bit of spice.

I add crystallised ginger to the mix of the ginger variant,  which will be the subject of another recipe post, but I have yet to perfect the recipe for crystallised ginger, as I have not always had the result I had hoped for, though to be fair, this is due to forgetting it was in the oven and coming back to cremated ginger!

You can always purchase crystallised ginger from Holland & Barrett.


4oz Best butter: should be salted as this helps with the flavour.

2oz Castor Sugar, or Golden Castor Sugar. Extra castor sugar for dusting, and rolling.

6oz Plain flour.

[If you are not going to use butter then I suggest you don’t bother]

Place the butter, which is ideally at a temperature where it is soft, into a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy. Then add the sugar and beat this in with the wooden spoon, to form a light airy mix.

High Blean B& B Bainbridge photo of biscuit mix

Butter & Sugar beaten

Now add the flour a table spoon at a time, beating the flour into the mix before adding the next spoon of flour.

After about 5 tbs it will then be necessary to mix in the remaining flour by hand to form a dough. Form the dough into a ball and leave this to rest for five minutes.



Take the dough and place it onto a work surface, which has previously been lightly sprinkled with castor sugar. Sprinkle a little more sugar on top of the dough and then roll out, keep dusting with castor sugar to prevent the roller sticking to the dough.

Dough for guest biscuits at High Blean B&B Bainbridge, Askrigg Yorkshire Dales

Lets Roll

Roll out the dough until it is about the thickness of a pound coin, then, using a small cutter [I use a 2″ cutter], cut out circles of the dough and transfer to a baking sheet. Collect the off cut and form into a ball and start the process of rolling and cutting again, until all the dough is used up. I tend to get 16 out of the first roll and the 6 or 7 more from the remnants.

Biscuits for the guests at High Blean B&B Bainbridge Askrigg Yorkshire Dales

The oven awaits.

This recipe should provide you with at least 20 biscuits, if not, you are not rolling the dough out sufficiently.

When you have them all on the baking tray it is time to bake.

If using an AGA, then give them about 7 minutes in the top oven initially with the heat diffuser in place. Then bake on from here depending on how hot your AGA is! You will know but it should take no more than a further 5 minutes.

If using a conventional oven, bake at 160 centigrade for 20 to 25 minutes. But look at them and if they look like they are turning brown then take them out, they will be cooked though it is not a disaster if they are not fully baked. Either eat them as they are, or twice bake them.

Now, if you wish to make the ginger variant, stir in one table spoon of ground ginger, into the butter and sugar before adding the first spoon of flour and omit one table spoon of flour from the 6oz of flour.

Then chop up some crystallised ginger finely [the amount will depend on your appetite for ginger!] and add this to the dough before rolling out. From this point continue with the recipe above.

When cooked, place on a wire cooling tray and sprinkle with castor sugar.

When cool eat at will and remember, that abstaining from the things you like dose not necessarily make you live any longer, it will just seem that way!

Edit 18th July 2014

A guest has pointed out that the biscuits being provided on the hospitality tray contain oats and yet this is not mentioned in the recipe. This is quite correct, this seasons hospitality tray biscuits do contain oats and I thank our guest for alerting me to this point.

Over the winter, I had been experimenting by adding different ingredients to find a 2014 season biscuit and this was one of the tastiest, but the others are all worthwhile making and might be the 2015 biscuit!

So, the  current biscuit has 4oz of flour and 2oz of porridge oats instead of 6oz of flour. Everything else in the recipe remains the same.





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