Butteries Recipe (Also Known As Rowies and Aberdeen Rolls!)

Aberdeen Butteries Recipe - Butteries in a basket

Butteries, also known as Rowies or even Aberdeen rolls, originated in the northeast of Scotland as an alternative bread roll for fisherman to eat while out at sea. A buttery could stand the test of time spent away better than bread and is packed with a high enough fat content to keep the fisherman going too.

If you’ve never tried a buttery, it’s a bit of a cross between a roll and a croissant, as they’re made with layers of pastry and a butter and lard mixture that give them a flakey texture. Some say they look a bit like a squashed croissant. It doesn’t sound particularly appealing but they really are delicious!

Butteries can be served plain, with jam, or even butter for an extra buttery taste. They aren’t really made to be eaten en masse unless you’re looking to thicken your waistline!

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Butteries Recipe

During WWI, butteries were briefly exempt from restrictions on bread sales as they were such an important part of the food for the working classes.

Our search for a butteries recipe had us scouring old cookbooks and more current recipes on line. Everyone seems to have their own idea of the perfect buttery, and the best bakery to buy it from, let alone how to make one yourself.

While the intrinsic ingredients of flour, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and lard don’t change, the amounts can vary wildly. We decided to try a few options and finally came up with the below!

Things you’ll need to make butteries

  • A large and a medium-sized bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking tray
Butteries recipe - Butteries on a plate with jar of jam and bowl of butteries in the background

Ingredients for Butteries

  • 500g (4 cups) Strong Bread Flour
  • 7g (2 1/4 tsp) dried yeast
  • 10g (2/3 tbsp) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 200g (1 cup) butter
  • 125g (1/2 cup) lard
  • 350ml (1 1/2 cups) tepid water
  • Extra flour for kneading and rolling
Buttery on a plate with more in the background

How to make Butteries – Step by step method

Mix the yeast, sugar, and water, and set aside.

In a large bowl mix the flour and salt.

Slowly add the liquid and use a fork to bring it together.

Once combined turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until it is elastic and smooth. You might need to sprinkle more flour over to knead in if the mixture is too wet and sticking. It depends on the type of flour you’re using!

Form into a ball, place into a large bowl, score the top with an X, cover in clingfilm and put in a warm place for about an hour to allow it to expand in size (this is called proving).

Measure out your butter and lard and cut into small pieces in a bowl to allow it to come to room temperature, if it isn’t already.

After the dough is proved return to a lightly floured work surface and knead very gently before rolling out to a rectangle shape that is about 2/4 of an inch thick. Have the short edge facing you.

Beat the butter and lard together with a wooden spoon so it’s smooth and roughly split into 3 in the bowl.

Using your hands, smear one third of the butter and lard mixture over the lower two thirds of your rectangle. Fold the top half (without the mixture) over onto the middle third, and then the bottom third up on top of that.

Wait approximately half an hour and repeat the process again, but roll the dough the opposite way to how you have folded it. Wait another half hour and repeat for the last time, turning the dough again to roll the opposite way.

You are basically creating layers in the pastry with the butter/lard mixture in between.

Roll the dough out to about 3/4 of an inch thick and divide into around 15 pieces which you can then gently shape into rounds. Put these on a lightly floured baking tray (or two) and cover with with a large plastic bag or lose cling film, and then allow to prove for a further 30 minutes. You’ll want to space the rounds out to allow them to expand.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C/400F and when the butteries have finished proving place them into the oven for 15-20 minutes. Keep a close eye on them from the 15 minute mark! They should turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven and move to a rack with a plate or paper towels underneath so they’re not sitting in the fat on the tray.

Allow to cool slightly before eating, or save for later! Serve with jam, or if you dare, even more butter!

Butteries on a plate with jam

How to eat your butteries

We like to eat butteries both when they’re still warm out of the oven, and also cold in the following days. In some ways the flavour seems to get even better from the next day on!

Jam is my favourite thing to eat with them, whereas Phil prefers them plain.

When we made the batch of butteries for these photos I was unaware that spreading jam (or anything) on the top of the butter is a bit of a faux pas, and any true buttery fan knows you should spread on the flat bottom! Whoops. I have since learned and will also spread on the bottom from now on!

Buttery with jam

What kind of flour do you use for butteries?

We like to use strong bread flour because we think it gives the butteries a better rise and makes them tastier, but you can also use plain flour as well.

The difference between the two is that bread flour has more protein in it, which gives it more gluten. This can mean more softness, a longer lasting end product, and enhanced flavour.

Can you make butteries without lard?

Sometimes butteries are made with a vegetable fat substitute, or even palm oil, although butteries purists will always say that lard is the best and really only way to make them.

In our research, we found that the majority of recipes used a mixture of butter and lard. We decided to go with this, although you could try a full lard version if you wish! Conversely, using only butter is also an option but said not to be nearly as tasty, of course.

Butteries in a bowl
Yield: 15

Aberdeen Butteries Recipe (Also Known As Rowies)

Aberdeen Butteries Recipe

Butteries, also known as Rowies or even Aberdeen rolls, originated in the northeast of Scotland as an alternative bread roll for fisherman to eat while out at sea. If you’ve never tried a buttery, it’s a bit of a cross between a roll and a croissant, as they’re made with layers of pastry and a butter and lard mixture that give them a flakey texture. Some say they look a bit like a squashed croissant. It doesn’t sound particularly appealing but they really are delicious!

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Proving Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g (4 cups) Strong Bread Flour
  • 7g (2 1/4 tsp) dried yeast
  • 10g (2/3 tbsp) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 200g (1 cup) butter
  • 125g (1/2 cup) lard
  • 350ml (1 1/2 cups) tepid water
  • Extra flour for kneading and rolling

Instructions

  1. Mix the yeast, sugar, and water, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt.
  3. Slowly add the liquid and use a fork to bring it together.
  4. Once combined turn out onto a floured work surface and knead until it is elastic and smooth. You might need to sprinkle more flour over to knead in if the mixture is too wet and sticking.
  5. Form into a ball, place into a large bowl, score the top with an X, cover in clingfilm and put in a warm place for about an hour to allow it to expand in size (this is called proving).
  6. Measure out your butter and lard and cut into small pieces in a bowl to allow it to come to room temperature if it isn’t already.
  7. After the dough is proved return to a lightly floured work surface and knead very gently before rolling out to a rectangle shape that is about 2/4 of an inch thick. Have the short edge facing you.
  8. Beat the butter and lard together with a wooden spoon so it’s smooth and roughly split into 3 in the bowl.
  9. Using your hands, smear one-third of the butter and lard mixture over the lower two-thirds of your rectangle. Fold the top half (without the mixture) over onto the middle third, and then the bottom third up on top of that.
  10. Wait approximately half an hour and repeat the process again, but roll the dough the opposite way to how you have folded it.
  11. Wait another half hour and repeat for the last time, turning the dough again to roll the opposite way. You are basically creating layers in the pastry with the butter/lard mixture in between.
  12. Roll the dough out to about 3/4 of an inch thick and divide into around 15 pieces which you can then gently shape into rounds. Put these on a lightly floured baking tray (or two) and cover with a large plastic bag or lose cling film, and then allow to prove for a further 30 minutes. You’ll want to space the rounds out to allow them to expand.
  13. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C/400F and when the butteries have finished proving place them into the oven for 15-20 minutes. Keep a close eye on them from the 15-minute mark! They should turn golden brown.
  14. Remove from the oven and move to a rack with a plate or paper towels underneath so they’re not sitting in the fat on the tray.
  15. Allow to cool slightly before eating, or save for later! Serve with jam, or if you dare, even more butter!

Notes

Can you make butteries without lard?

Sometimes butteries are made with a vegetable fat substitute, or even palm oil, although butteries purists will always say that lard is the best and really only way to make them.

In our research, we found that the majority of recipes used a mixture of butter and lard. We decided to go with this, although you could try a full lard version if you wish! Conversely, using only butter is also an option but said not to be nearly as tasty, of course.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

15

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 243mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

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