Butteries

When the children were small and I was at home with them, I used to make our bread; I admit I didn’t make all our bread, we did buy some from a ‘proper’ baker but moist of our day to day bread I made. You get into the way of doing it and it’s easy, even the kneading becomes a familiar rhythm and isn’t a struggle or particularly arduous. It’s years and years since I made brad by hand – my husband now bakes each day but I confess, he uses a machine! Even when I did make bread I don’t remember making other yeasted things, although I made plenty of cakes, buns scones etc. I’ve come across a recipe in Janet Murray’s little book which does tempt me to have a go again, the only problem I see is that our kitchen counter is rather high so I may have to wear heels to do the kneading!

I have never heard of butteries before but they do sound rather special! This is what John Davidsons family butchers has to say (they deliver nationwide if you don’t want to make your own butteries:

Known as Aberdeen Butteries, Rowies or Aberdeen Rolls, these “Delicacies” are a favourite here in the North East of Scotland. You may have tried a Buttery from the supermarket but these are the real deal, hand made Rowie as they should be. These butteries are completely different from rolls anywhere else in the modern world. They have the fat content of a croissant but a far more robust, flattened shape – and they’re saltier. In bygone days the fat content was lard as the buttery was used as an energy source for fisherman at sea, however, today the lard is substituted with vegetable fat to make them more appealing to the modern diet, healthier and tasty too. Very Moreish!   https://www.johndavidsons.com/

Back to Janet:

Butteries

Making butteries is rather like making flaky pastry, only you use yeast; and while baking utensils are as cold as possible for pastry, they must be warm for a yeast mixture.
There are three terms in all yeast recipes – creaming the yeast, which means working a little sugar into the yeast to liquefy it; setting to sponge, or putting the dough in a warm place to rise; and proving,  or leaving the end product to recover from kneading before it is baked.
Here are the quantities for a batch of about 15:
12 oz. plain flour; 1 large teaspoonful salt; 2 large teaspoonfuls sugar; ½ oz. yeast; ¼ pint tepid water; 3 oz. butter or margarine; 4 oz lard.
Sift flour with the slat into w warm, roomy bowl. Cream the yeast with the sugar and add some of the tepid water to it. Pour into the flour and mix to a smooth firm dough, adding more of the water if necessary.
Knead the dough well on a well-floured baking board. (Kneading is not just pounding. You lift an edge of dough with the right hand and fold it into the centre of the dough with the knuckles of the left hand and keep turning the dough round and round as you work.) Put the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a cloth wrung out of warm water, and set it in a warm corner for an hour.
After an hour it should have risen to twice its size. Knead it again. It will fall back almost to its original size or pretty near it, so do not be disappointed. Roll it out on a floured board.
There are two methods of adding fat. You can do it in tiny pieces over the dough, or you can mix the butter and lard to a cream and spread it on. I prefer the latter method.
Having creamed the lard and the butter, spread a third of it evenly over the dough and dust with flour. Fold the dough in three and roll out. Repeat the operation twice.
The final rolling should leave the dough thin and flattish. Cut it in squares. Take up each square, tuck the four corners underneath, flatten with the hand and put it on a floured, warm baking sheet. Leave them for half an hour, then bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes until they are golden brown and crusty, above and below.
For those who like to know the temperature – for an electric oven 450 degrees; for a gas oven, mark 6.

The oven temp in centigrade is 200º. If You’ve made bread before, or if you’ve made flaky pastry, as Janet says, it is quite straight forward; if you haven’t then if you follow Janet’s instructions carefully all should be well!!

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