Aberdeen Rowies

These Scottish Aberdeen Rowies are an absolute classic from the North East of Scotland. A weekend treat quite often included a buttery or a rowie for breakfast when we were growing up and I’ll never forget waking up to my Dad’s old crackly radio on a Saturday morning and the smell of the rowies wafting up the stairs … delicious!

They are high in fat using both butter and lard and should probably come with a health warning lol! but they are so crispy good and definitely one to include in my traditional Scottish recipes collection. If you love Scottish food they must be tried at least once. Trust me though once you have tried them making them once will never be enough.

This recipe reminds me exactly of how they tasted when we were growing up. Traditionally these Rowies were used at sea and the high fat and salt content helped to preserve them and make them last longer. Also a great energy boost too I imagine for all the hard working fisherman.

Equipment Required:

You may also like some of these other recipes which are equally delicious for breakfast. The crowdie cheese makes a delicious light breakfast on toast or oatcakes and the smoked salmon pate is delicious on toast or oatcakes also.

Tips for making this recipe:

  • This recipe is high in fat and can be high in salt if you prefer them that way. Please don’t be put off by the amount of fat in this recipe. They make a delicious treat!
  • You may be able to reduce the fat content a little down to 140g of butter and 140g of lard if you prefer but you may loose the authentic crispy taste of these butteries if you do so.
  • Rowies are butteries, butteries are rowies, you may hear me refer to both but I believe they are the same thing. They call them Rowies in Aberdeen town and Butteries in the countryside. That is my understanding of it although I was in a baker once and they said they sold both. The debate is on!
  • Work quick with the dough once the fat is in it and bake them all at the same time if you can. This helps to keep the fat content solid before baking and makes them easier to handle. Too much handling melts the fat and makes them more difficult to handle.
  • Reduce the salt content to 1tsp if you prefer a less salty version. This is how I remember them tasting when I was wee so I have kept it to 2tsp.
  • These butteries store really well. You can also freeze them if you wish but they are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven when they are crispy hot.

Aberdeen Rowies Recipe:

Read all the instructions before making this recipe to ensure you understand it well.

  • 25g of fresh yeast or 7g of fresh yeast
  • 240ml of lukewarm water
  • 460g of plain flour
  • 2tsp of sea salt
  • 160g of lard
  • 160g of butter
  • 1tbsp of caster sugar

Recipe Instructions:

  1. Mix the yeast with the warm water until frothy. It must not be hot, hand warm is perfect.
  2. Add the salt, flour and sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix through.
  3. Add in the yeast and water to the flour and blend through to create a dough. It might be a little sticky but that is ok.
  4. Place in a clean oiled bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  5. After the hour blend the lard and butter together to form one mass in a seperate bowl. I find doing this by hand is best. Split the blended fat into three chunks and set aside in the bowl.
  6. Split the dough in three and roll out one third flat across a well floured wooden board or surface into a rough rectangular shape about 1/2inch thick.
  7. Take one of the thirds of fat and dot in small pieces over the rolled out dough. Fold the dough over three times from one side and roll out again to about an inch thick.
  8. Dot your piece of dough again with your first third of fat, fold three times and roll out again. Repeat until you have used up a third of your fat.
  9. Split the dough into balls and stretch to form rough circular shapes. They are not perfectly round so a rough circle is perfect. They also should not be perfectly flat on the top either and have some kind of texture.
  10. Repeat with the other two pieces of dough and place all the circular rowies on a greased baking sheet or paper.
  11. Leave to rise for a further 30minutes and preheat the oven to 180oc (fan).
  12. Bake in a hot oven 180oc (fan) for 15minutes & then 160oc for 10minutes.
  13. Eat immediately out of the oven or leave to cool completely for storing.

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  1. Pingback: Aberdeen Rowies — The Wee Larder by Angie Milne | homethoughtsfromabroad626

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