Piece of cheese is rubbed on metal hand grater. Slices of cheese and grater levitate in air. Grater and cheese isolated on white background.
The Cheese Grater Hack For Adding Crispy Shortbread To Any Bake
By Alexis Montoya
Shortbread can be used as a starting point for all kinds of bakes and is mainly defined by its large amount of butter. The way butter’s richness, tenderness, and structure are worked into a recipe establishes the outcome of any bake, and crispier shortbread is possible by using a cheese grater.
Grating breaks the dough’s protein chains, leading to extra tenderness, and in shortbread dough specifically, grated shreds will melt into each other, forming a pebbly surface and open-textured crumb. It’s similar to cutting small pieces of very cold butter into dry flour to create the shortbread crust’s flaky structure while the butter parts melt into airy pockets of tenderness.
To use this hack, make the dough in advance and freeze it until ready to bake, then use a cheese grater to shred the dough. Use this hack to elevate classic desserts like this Meyer lemon raspberry swirl cheesecake or chocolate pear custard tart with an almond shortbread crust.