Buttery: A very not vegan Aberdeenshire delicacy


I had never heard of a buttery (also called a rowie, depending on where you are from) before last month when within a week they were mentioned on the Great British Bake Off and a neighbour (who grew up in Aberdeenshire) mentioned that her supermarket kept substituting Weight Watchers rolls when she tried to buy butteries as part of her online shop.  I was intrigued by the idea of a ‘lard croissant’ and decided I had to make some.

Googling brought me here and after a bit of time when I would have either margarine or lard in the house but never both, I finally got around to making them last night. The water/ flour proportions made no sense to me so I fiddled a bit – I’ve written the final recipe up below.  I warn you now they are a bit fiddly and take time but they were fun, taste good (would be even better made with butter) and I now believe I can make actual pain au chocolat as laminated dough is quite simple if time consuming.  But that will be another post on another day.

The one thing I believe I got wrong was the shaping.  The recipe I found was vary vague and it was only after I made them that it occurred to me to use google image to check it out.  It turns out that I should have turned the corners in and then flattened them to get a more round shape.  Still, I like the way the square shape shows off the lamination.

"Some buns on a cooling rack"

Recipe: Aberdeenshire Butteries

250g marg (this is a case where I’d suggest if you can eat butter, use it, but it is fine without too.)
125g lard
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
500g plain flour
2 teaspoons of dried yeast
325ml warm water
Pinch of salt

Mix the sugar, yeast and a small amount of water together. Leave for a few minutes until it is frothy.

Add the yeast mixture to the flour and salt along with most of the water, mix together until it forms a soft dough, adding more water only if needed.

Leave for about an hour and a half to double in size. While waiting cream the marg and lard together and then divide into three equal parts (I weighed them, but doing by eye ball would be just as good I’m sure.)

When the dough has risen, shape into a ball and then roll into a rectangle about 1 cm thick.  Spread 1/3 of the marg and lard mixture over 2/3s of the dough, leaving the top 1/3 free.  Fold the lard free 1/3 back over the spread mixture and then the final third over the top.  You should end up with a rectangle 1/3 the size of the original. Roll this out gently (I used a sheet of greaesproof paper between the dough and the rolling pin) until it is the original size.  Put in the fridge for 40 minutes.

Repeat this process twice more.

Cut the dough into 16 pieces.  This is the point I left them square as I didn’t know how to shape them without losing the many layers the repeated folding had given me.  I now know I should have folded the corners in and then squished them slightly.  Put all the pieces on a baking tray and leave to rise for 45 minutes.

Bake at 200 C for 20 minutes and you’ll end up with this:

I wasn’t planning to make these again, but I gave one with jam to eldest as a post school snack and she has been suggesting this would be an excellent idea every day. Maybe if we get another snowy winter as the lard will keep her fueled.

Submitted to Yeastspotting.

About Nuala

Geeky feminist Irish woman living in Scotland. Has two daughters and a lot of yarn. Really likes hummus.
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