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Stotties?

Recently an ad in the Sunday paper included a recipe for stotties. Clearly not authentic, from what I can assess, since it included nuts and cut-up prunes, plus what Brits refer to as mixed spice, and honey, it still was easy and awfully good. (I used dried cranberries instead.)

But it got me curious about them. Who's eaten them? I know they're mostly in the North and used as a sandwich base. Are they ever made at home (any more)? The sandwiches seem like they'd be good for soaking up some brew after the pub closes, very hearty and warm. So please discuss.

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  1. Large north east version of the north west's oven bottom muffin.

    Either are what you really want to use for a bacon & fried egg butty.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      Ah. Knew I'd hear from you. Yeast-raised, right?

      1. re: lemons

        Yep. It's just a bread roll, although the texture is somewhat denser than, say, a burger bun.

        They may add bits to them in the north east but over our side it's just plain bread.

        1. re: Harters

          Bits? Surely not olives or nuts...maybe bacon?

          1. re: lemons

            Dunno - although I doubt whether the Geordies add anything. The recipe in the paper seems to be turning it into some form of teacake.

    2. Teacake is a good description. I used dried cranberries and I liked it a lot, but knew from research beforehand that it wasn't The Real Thing. Definitely felt like thick slices and a good cuppa on a cold, dank afternoon.

      3 Replies
      1. re: lemons

        I'm from the north east and have never seen a stottie with any form of bits in it.

        I always buy my stotties from Gregg's the bakers. I love them; really dense, soft and chewy at the same time. I wish they stocked them in Gregg's outside the north east as they're the best thing they do.

        1. re: gourmetgorro

          How big are they, both how high and how far across? Are they fairly dense instead of being fluffy?

          1. re: lemons

            About 30cm across but mini stotties (bread bun sized) are fairly common in a lot of places too.
            They're fairly dense and doughy but they're really soft at the same time so they don't feel hard work to eat.

      2. Stotties with fruit and nuts? Madness. We always used to get individual-sized ones from the bakery that my nana worked in near Newcastle - about an inch thick, triangular in shape and maybe 6in across, soft dense white bread, soft crust, dusty with flour. Filled with pease pudding, thick cut ham, and picked beetroot. Heaven.

        9 Replies
        1. re: gembellina

          That sounds like the butty of the gods, gem.

          I'd have thought you could only improve on it by the "full English" stotty (an oven bottom muffin is a tad too small to do proper justice to the concept)

          1. re: gembellina

            I've only ever had a stottie in Newcastle, and, as far as I can remember, they are often sold as triangles because the standard large round (or square?) stottie has been cut into four to make a sandwich for one person (still a huge lunch though!).

            I live in Liverpool, and have worked in Preston, but have never come across the NW version - the oven bottom muffin - you mention Harters. Have I lived a sheltered life, or are they just not very common?

            1. re: Theresa

              Sheltered life, I think, Theresa.

              Very common in my experience - even the supermarkets stock 'em
              http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Produc...

              1. re: Harters

                Thanks for that link. Led to even more interesting things.

                1. re: lemons

                  Tesco? Interesting things? Sorry, does not compute :-0

                  1. re: Harters

                    Oh, phooey, I'll see your Tesco and raise you -- well, there are no truly national supermarket groups in the US; there are large regional ones like Vons or Albertsons. But when I get to go to a market in another country, or even region, there are always interesting things. I've brought home gifts from Tesco and Sainsbury's. :)

                    1. re: lemons

                      Ah but Americans have such great names for their supermarkets. I mean, who can resist going into a Piggly Wiggly.

                      1. re: Harters

                        When I was a kid, we spent a summer in a college town w/ a Piggly Wiggly, and I loved it. But if you Google American supermarkets, there's a list, and a disappointingly large percent are things like Ralphs or (our local chain) Schnucks. (Note the absence of apostrophes. Maybe there are just a lot of people named Ralph that own it.) Non-locals have a good laugh over the S-chain, especially if they speak a little Yiddish, b/c it sounds like an unflattering Yiddish noun..

                2. re: Harters

                  I'll start looking out for them - although I do wonder whether they are harder to come by in Liverpool - it sometimes feels like we are a bit separate to the rest of the NW/Lancashire culture/food-wise ... or just awkward :o)

            2. this is absolutely no help at all, but when i was a student at the National Bakery School, we made proper stotties as taught to us by a teacher from 'up north'...haven't seen one since, which is a shame because while theres a glut of 'french' bread bakeries like Pauls and LPQ, there doesn't seem to be anyone in London doing regional British breads, which are as good as (if not better) than all the mediocre french crap we have right now...sorry, rant over now

              24 Replies
              1. re: cookiebitch

                One of the first E. David books I read talked a lot about the regional English breads. Even on my first visit in '76 to London and Cardiff, there were few of them around. (Although the wonderful phrase "fresh cut sandwiches" was a delightful little surprise.)

                1. re: cookiebitch

                  Very true, there are great local breads and rolls over the UK. If only I could get Aberdeen Buttery's outside NE Scotland. On second thoughts my arteries are probably glad of it.

                  1. re: stilldontknow

                    I've never heard of that but it sounds damn good...is it anything like lardy bread??

                    1. re: cookiebitch

                      It does have lard as well as butter but its savoury rather than sweet. Like a salty flattened croissant but richer.

                  2. re: cookiebitch

                    Ahhh stotties! I used to meet the boys from the school across the road in a stottie shop in Newcastle where we would congregate for our lunch. Ham and pease pudding, or if you were posh, date and cream cheese. I was visiting family in Newcastle over Xmas and bought a stottie from Greggs(used to be Greggs of Gosforth before they expanded...) it was just a good as i remembered, floury surface, quite dense wholemeal bread, but NO BITS in it!! I wish my local Greggs made it, I might have to have a go myself.

                    1. re: greeneyesN4

                      The truely only one and only is to eat a 'stottie dip' which can be filled with sliced saveloy sausage, sliced ham, beef or pork (my favourite) or a combination of them all (known locally as a savoury dip) then hot sage and onion, pease pudding, ENGLISH mustard (optional) then the top slice of the bread has it's inner-side lightly dipped into hot gravy and enjoy....oh yes en-joy! Greggs do the best stotties and are an ideal size for slicing in half and dry toasting in a frying pan when camping on gas burner! ps, this is my first post so allreet there?!

                      1. re: Pearbillhillend

                        Welcome, P.

                        Man, that sounds fantastic. A sandwich to win any sandwich lovers heart. Interesting that it's Greggs who do the best - over here in the north west, they're thought of as a bit shit by way of bakers

                        1. re: Harters

                          Thanks H

                          With you on the shit theory by way of the excessive ammounts of lard ladenned pastry items they trough out by the second on every NE High St. but them stottie bad boys are the dogs bollox. The fresh sarnies they do are ok (and now do decent fresh coffee) but they a very expensive. Up here a new born baby learns how suck a sausage roll before a dum dum! ;)

                          1. re: Pearbillhillend

                            Okay, okay, help an always-curious Yank out. (I started this stotttie mess; give me a little leeway, pls.) Sarnie is a sandwich, yes? But what makes it a sarnie and not...well, something that isn't a sarnie? (If this ever comes up in a trivia contest, I intend to blow everyone out of the water....)

                            1. re: lemons

                              Sarnie is, indeed, a sandwich. As is a butty.

                              This is my take on it. More generally speaking, anything involving "stuff" enclosed by bread is a sarnie. More specifically, I'd suggest the bread has to be sliced from a loaf, rather than it being a bread roll.

                              So a bacon sarnie, or bacon butty, is going to be bacon and bread (unless it's a "toasted bacon butty"). Generaly speaking, that's going to be any bread. But, if it was two pieces of bread sliced from a loaf, that'd be a specific bacon butty. As opposed to bacon on a split bread roll which, depending on where you are in the country, may be a bacon roll, barm, cob, muffin, bap or, as we're seeing, mini-stottie. And, in the science of bacon butty making, the secret to remember is that the absolute best come from greasy spoon cafes, not your own kitchen. The bacon is nicely floppy and never, ever, crispy in the American style. And you're always offered a choice between red and brown sauce. Never forget, lemons, that the bacon sarnie.butty is at the heart of my culture and is a vibrant symbol of our nationhood. Understand the bacon butty and you understand us Britons.

                              1. re: Harters

                                LIterally LOL. That's the sort of vigorous explanation that makes this site great! Well done, Harters.

                                1. re: lemons

                                  Sarnie and buttie (that's the way I spell it!) - sounds so much nicer than a sammie doncha think! Not that I ever said sammie during my time in the USA.

                                  1. re: cathodetube

                                    butty - singular

                                    butties - plural

                                    Possibly. Or possibly not.

                                    Yours

                                    Harters
                                    (4 "O" levels - including English Language)

                                    1. re: Harters

                                      OK. Then would that be sarny singular and sarnies plural?!?!? I think not!

                                      Oh who cares!

                                      My name is not Suzie or even Suzy.

                                      1. re: cathodetube

                                        I'm not a Suzie or Suzy either. Well, not in public .

                                        Google has 565K hits for "bacon butty" and 73K for "bacon buttie". I rest my case, m'lud.

                                        1. re: Harters

                                          I have two words for you - sarnie, stottie.

                                2. re: Harters

                                  Bacon sarnie. It is nature's remedy to any raging hangover for which I will be foremost and forever most gratefull to the pig! Bacon grilled but not too crispy with brown sauce (HP and no other!) and not red sauce (tomato kethcup) every time, occasionally with fried egg served with good coffee...'ting', 30 mins later ready to face the world! In a white stottie. Cheese savoury in brown stottie, which Greggs do not sell, alas!

                                  1. re: Pearbillhillend

                                    Cheese savoury? Another Geordie delicacy?

                                    1. re: Harters

                                      Not sure whether it's a North East speciality but I was weaned on Gregg's cheese savoury stotties. It's a heady combination of generic orange cheese, onion and carrot blended with the finest creamy mayonnaise and sharpest salad cream money can buy.

                                       
                                      1. re: gourmetgorro

                                        I use chopped scallions and sweetcorn in mine with shredded ham...champion, just champion but never in white bread but wholemeal or multiseed bread.

                                        1. re: gourmetgorro

                                          On that description, not just a north east thing. I recall, years back, the local sandwich shop near work sold an oven bottom muffin of carrot onion and cheese (all grated) and mayo. It's a butty I still make at home. Food of the Gods.

                                          1. re: gourmetgorro

                                            Marks and Spencer used to do a cheese and coleslaw sandwich which I was partial to. I often recreate it at home.

                                            1. re: Theresa

                                              Well I got round to making stotties last night. cheated and used the bread maker for the dough and hand shaped into 2 stotties. Both in retrospect too thick, but the dough nicely chewy and soft. My other half was one of the boys I would meet in the stottie shop at lunchtime so it was a bit of a nostalgic trip for both of us.
                                              Next time I'll do half the quantity and make them thinner, but a nice change from my usual healthy multigrain malted loaf.

                                              http://www.mydish.co.uk/recipe/295/St...