Butteries without baps? See here for a recipe that … gets close.
- 250g/8oz butter
- 125g/4oz Trex (as a vegetarian alternative to the traditional lard)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 500g/1lb flour
- 2 teaspoons of dried yeast
- 450ml/¾ pint warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste; be generous – they traditionally had a fair amount of salt for keeping on the fishing boats)
Method 1 – the quicker option
- Make a paste from the yeast, sugar and a wee bit of the warm water and set aside.
- Mix the flour and the salt together. Once the yeast has bubbled up add this and mix well to a dough. Knead and leave to rise.
- Cream the butter and lard and divide into three portions.
- Once the dough has doubled in size give it a good knead then roll into a rectangle about 1cm thick.
- Spread one third of the butter mixture over two thirds of the dough. Fold the remaining third of the dough over onto the butter mixture and fold the other bit over – giving three layers. Roll this back to the original size.
- Repeat this stage twice more, and allow the dough to rest for 40 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 16 pieces and shape each to a rough circle; make sure the cut edges are rolled underneath, and place on greased and floured baking trays.
- Set aside to rise for about 45 minutes until again well risen, then bake at 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for about 15 minutes, when they will be a rich brown.
Method 2 – fiddlier, but gives a nicer result
- Make a “sponge”. Take 125g/4oz of the flour; mix in 1/4 to 1/2 tsp dried yeast, half the sugar, and about half the water; mix until smooth. Cover with cling film and leave for at least two hours.
- Mix the rest of the dried yeast with the rest of the water and the sugar; leave aside for about 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- Mix the rest of the flour and the salt together. Add the reconstituted yeast liquid and the sponge. Mix well to a dough. Knead to a softish smooth dough.
- Turn into an oiled bowled, cover with cling film, and leave to rise overnight in a very cool place (fridge, or even outside).
- Set your alarm for about 2 hours before breakfast time. Then follow steps 3 through to 8 as above.
And a brief note added from Norman Harper’s blog from the North East of Scotland
“The master bakers I have spoken to tell me that the vital skill for a buttery-maker is to know when to stop working the mix. Stop early for salty-crispy, and stop a few minutes later for soft-doughy. If the baker carried on and incorporated all the lard and produced a perfectly smooth dough, he would produce a flat cake. “
Something to remember for next time.