It must be a couple of years ago now that I attended a bread making course at the wonderful Lets Cook Scotland. On the day we made many breads including soda breads and foccacia, the host on the day also made some Aberdeen Butteries for us to take home.
For anyone who has not had an Aberdeen Buttery before I found this description which I think sums them up quite well, “The best way to describe their look and taste is a saltier, flatter and greasier Croissant.”
Doesn’t sound particularly appealing? Well they are, but they are also sooo bad for you, being as the name suggests full of butter and lard. However my daughter loved them and has been begging me to make them ever since so this weekend I gave in. Strangely she left me and my son to do the work and returned just in time to have one fresh out of the oven.
So if you’re not afraid of a carb and fat filled treat, here’s how it’s done.
450g strong bread flour
2 level tsps salt
175g of lard
175g of butter
10g of fast action yeast
285ml warm water
1 level tsp caster sugar
Your first step is sieving the flour and salt into a bowl.
Then with a knife mix the butter and lard together until softened.
Next add about a third of the butter/lard mixture to the flour and mix with your fingertips until it has a fine crumb like consistency.
Once mixed add the fast action yeast. make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the warm water and mix to a rough dough.
Turn out onto an unfloured surface (yes unfloured it shouldn’t have to be floured if you keep the dough moving it won’t stick), and onto my favourite bit the kneading.
Kneading takes a long time and you can use a mixer but I prefer to do it by hand, it’s very therapeutic (especially after a bad day at work). You know your doughs ready when it doesn’t tear on stretching and also if the dough springs back when you make a finger mark in it.
Next roll out the dough to form an oblong and mark it into thirds. On the middle and right thirds place dots of the butter/lard mixture then fold the left third (without the butter) over the middle and then the right third on top. Seal the edges by pressing the dough together and turn over on a baking tray then leave to rest for 10 minutes in the fridge.
When ready roll though dough into an oblong about 1 cm thick and cut out into about 12 -16 squares depending how big you want your butteries. The dough then needs to be placed on a baking tray somewhere warm till it becomes puffy (I use my cupboard with the hot water tank). Then all thats left to do is pop them in the oven for about 12 minutes at 220 oc (200 for fan assisted), take them out, sprinkle with caster sugar and eat while warm (you don’t have to but I think they taste best that way.
And if you don’t want to eat them all at once, you can freeze the cut squares and just take them out to defrost as and when you want to use them. now i’m off to run round the park and try and burn of all that fat!