Salted Butter Breakups

By Friday, February 22, 2013

I’m sharing an unusual and interesting recipe today. It’s a traditional French cookie called “broyé”.

I found the recipe on the food blog Lottie & Doof. It’s apparently originally from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. I had never heard about Dorie until now, but apparently she’s quite famous. According to her:

This cookie is a tradition in the Poitou region of France where butter is prized. Butteriness is one of the cookie’s defining characteristics, and saltiness is another.

I love butter and I really love salt, so I was excited to try what some call “salted butter breakups” myself. I think they turned out exactly as they were supposed to… but I was left confused. What exactly is this cookie for?!

That might sound silly, but I feel like every recipe has a purpose – a time and a place to be served and consumed. On Lottie & Doof, they recommend serving this cookie with tea. That’s probably the most logical choice… but I am still undecided because these salty shortbread-like treats are unlike anything I’ve ever made – or eaten – before.


They’re almost like a biscuits, really, and definitely tasty. I liked having a container of them by my desk at work to snack on periodically. I’m curious, though… how would the French serve them, exactly?

Be sure to check out the post on Lottie & Doof for some really fantastic photography of this recipe!

Broyé, a.k.a. Dorie Greenspan’s Salted Butter Breakups


  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon big salt
  • 9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 18 pieces
  • 3-5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 egg yolk


  1. Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Drop in the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal—you’ll have both big pea-size pieces and small flakes. With the machine running, start adding the cold water gradually: add just enough water to produce a dough that almost forms a ball. When you reach into the bowl to feel the dough, it should be very malleable.
  2. Scrape the dough onto a work surface, form it into a square, and pat it down to flatten it a bit. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill it for about 1 hour.
  3. When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and, if it’s very hard, bash it a few times with your rolling pin to soften it. Put the dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper and roll it into a rectangle that’s about 1/4 inch thick and about 5 x 11 inches; accuracy and neatness doesn’t count for a lot here. Transfer the dough to the lined baking sheet.
  4. Beat the egg yolk with a few drops of cold water and, using a pastry brush, paint the top surface of the dough with an egg glaze. Using the back of a table fork, decorate the cookie in a crosshatch pattern.
  5. Bake the cookie for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is golden. It will be firm to the touch but have a little spring when pressed in the center — the perfect break-up is crisp on the outside and still tender within. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and allow the cookie to cool to room temperature.

Have you ever had or made “broyé”? How, when and where do you think it should be served?

  • eriel
    February 23, 2013

    These look so yummy! Can’t wait to try them 🙂

  • daniel
    July 7, 2014

    Broyé is eaten in the northwestern costal region of France known as Poitou-Charentes. It is a found in nearly every bakery in the region and is a very old food that has been passed down generation after generation, from the time it was originally used to feed farming workers in the fields but has become a region specialty. Broyé is a shortbread biscuit that is cooked into shapes. The most common is a circle but depending on baker the shape will vary because when placing in on the table it is commonly already broke. Broyé is meant to be broken into pieces to eat, coming from the food’s heritage of feeding the works because the land owners broke it up into pieces so that there would be something for every worker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.