Monday, October 22, 2012

Bâton Salé - French for ‘Salty Sticks’

A request - in the form of a challenge - was sent from Sona G. for Bâton Salé (French for ‘salty sticks’):
Sona’s request:
“Wondering if you can help figure out a recipe my grandmother used to make.

 Whenever she clarified butter for Baklava she kept the bottom milk solids and used it to make a delicious bâton salé - a type of bread stick. I've tried searching for recipes under baton sale but nothing is as good as my Nene’s...I'm sure you hear that a lot!
 I asked my sweet momma but she can't really remember and the recipe she gave me seemed like something was missing.  Anyway, got any suggestions?

 I just made 4 trays of Baklava for an event at my church so I have a lot of the milk solids ready for use :)”
 I googled BâtonSalé and the first recipe that popped-up came from '', sent in by a woman named Maral. I sent this recipe to Sona, and asked if she’d look it over to see if this was a possibility.

Sona wrote: “Thanks for your reply. I did check out the recipes online and finally revised one of my own using the buttermilk (milk solids) that is left after butter is clarified. It came out delicious, and with a few alterations for next time, I think I've nailed my grandma’s recipe :)”
Sona's Bâton Salé
Here is Sona’s recipe for Bâton Salé:
4 cups of flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black caraway or nigella seeds
1/2 tsp. ground fennel
About 2 cups of **fresh buttermilk** made when I clarified butter.

(** Robyn’s note: Sona’s reference to fresh buttermilk is actually the milk solids which separate from the golden buttery liquid that sink to the bottom of the pot as the butter melts. The buttery liquid rises to the top.)

Clarify butter (see below) as you would for baklava.

I rolled mine into short little sticks, didn't have time to do the little twist sticks my grandmother used to make.
Baked at 375°F for about 12 min.

You know me, I wanted to know how much butter was used, and needed more specific details for the preparation for posting purposes.
Here is what Sona added:

“Well I had just made 4 trays of baklava for a church event so I melted 6 pounds of butter....but don't worry, once clarified, I used less than a pound per tray.
I put all the ingredients into my kitchen aid mixer and used the paddle (attachment) to form the dough.

I started to pinch off a little and roll it in 4 to 5 inch sticks but then I really needed to be done with it so I rolled the dough out and cut circles with an Armenian coffee cup.
I lined the tray with parchment paper, no oil or cooking spray. (Baked as mentioned above.)

I have to say I'm not a baker, too technical for me but being in the kitchen relaxes me!”
** To Clarify Butter: Melt 1 pound butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Don’t let butter turn brown. Remove any foam which rises to the surface. Remove from heat. After a few minutes remove any foam that remains on the surface. Transfer the clear butter to a storage container. Save any residue from the bottom of the saucepan for another use, or discard.
Cover the clarified butter and refrigerate. Use for frying or baking.


  1. i just tried making this recipe for this recipe and i am sorry to say it came out "awful". I did exactly as the recipe stated. I do make my own clarified butter. It was such a sad waste! :(

  2. I'm terribly sorry to hear this! Since this recipe was not tested in The Armenian Kitchen, I cannot offer a suggestion for improvement. If you would like to email me the specifics of the failure, perhaps I can ask Sona for feedback. Write to:

  3. i really would like for you to test it in The Armenian Kitchen for yourself. But please do it exactly as the recipe states. the clarified butter is "ARTAR YOUGHE" in Armenian.

  4. Dear Anon,
    The next time I clarify butter, I'll experiment with the recipe. Please be patient as this may take a while.

  5. It is delightful to find such familiar recipes online. We have a similar recipe in our family which was always made to use up the salty residue of the butter from when the aunts were making the Easter sweets. Your recipe really helped translate my version out of colloquial Italian and add the missing details. Thanks.

  6. My nana makes this cookie with 5 ingredients and it's absolutely delicious. It does not use buttermilk or clarified butter.

    1. Would your grandmother be willing to share her recipe with The Armenian Kitchen? If so, please contact me: Thanks!

  7. We baton sale is an extremely old recipe from my family and there is no recipe like it on the internet. I make them for special occasions and everyone absolutely love them. Do you want the recipe?