- Butter tenderizes a baked product.
- It also adds color and flavor that is impossible to replicate.
- Butter is available salted (salt acts as a preservative) or unsalted. Unsalted butter offers a delicate, cultured flavor.
- Store butter in its original container in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the refrigerator door, for up to one week beyond the date printed on the package.
- Fresh butter should have a delicate cream flavor and pale yellow color. Butter quickly picks up off-flavors during storage and when exposed to oxygen; once the carton is opened place it in a resealable plastic food bag or airtight container.
- Store butter away from foods with strong odors, such as onions or garlic.
- Keep butter refrigerated between serving times.
- Butter may be frozen for up to four months. Place the butter in a resealable plastic freezer bag.
- Unsalted butter may be substituted for salted butter or vice versa. It is not necessary to alter the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Whipped butter may be used as a substitution based on weight, not volume. For example, if a cake recipe calls for 1cup (2 sticks) butter, you may use 8 ounces of whipped butter.
- Stick margarine made from vegetable oil may be substituted for butter in most baking applications except pastry recipes and candy, made from boiled syrup. Using margarine will produce a softer dough than one made with butter.
- Land O Lakes® Butter comes in stick form with markings on the paper indicating tablespoon and cup measurements. Use a sharp knife to cut off the amount needed for a recipe.
- Butter Measurements:
2 cups = 4 sticks = 1 pound
1 cup = 2 sticks = 1/2 pound
1/2 cup = 1 stick = 1/4 pound
1/4 cup = 1/2 stick = 4 tablespoons
- If using Land O Lakes® Spreadable Butter with Canola Oil, in the tub, spoon into dry measuring cup and pack down firmly with spatula, spoon or knife.
- If using Land O Lakes® Whipped Butter, measure by weight, not volume.
Handling Butter: Browning
- Browning butter enhances butter’s rich flavor. To brown butter melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until butter just begins to turn a delicate golden brown color. (Butter will bubble and foam. WATCH CLOSELY.) Immediately remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool.
Handling Butter: Clarifying
- Melt butter over low heat in a small skillet or heavy saucepan. Remove white froth with a spoon as it forms on top. As fat rises, milk solids will sink to the bottom of the pan. Pour off clear yellow clarified butter; discard milk solids. Store in refrigerator.
Handling Butter: Creaming
- Beat butter or butter and sugar until soft, smooth and creamy. Use an electric mixer or food processor for easy mixing.
Handling Butter: Cutting-In Butter
- Mix in cold butter by gently pressing pastry blender into the butter and flour mixture. Butter is cut-in when the mixture is crumbly and looks like coarse meal. This may take a little bit of work. You may have to use a knife to clean off the pastry blender once in awhile.
- Cutting the butter in coats the proteins in the flour and helps prevent the gluten-forming proteins from joining together with water and with each other.
- Use two knives to cut-in the butter if you do not have a pastry blender. With knife blades close together, move the knives back and forth in opposite directions as in a cutting action. This will take more time, but it does work just as well as a pastry blender.
Handling Butter: Softening
- Soften butter slightly for easier mixing by removing from refrigerator and letting stand 30 to 45 minutes at room temperature.
- To soften butter quickly, cut into chunks and allow to soften at room temperature about 15 minutes. If time is limited, place a stick of cold butter between sheets of waxed paper and hit it with a rolling pin on each side to smash butter.
- The Land O’Lakes Test Kitchens recommend that you do not soften butter in the microwave for use in baking. The butter can quickly melt even when watched carefully.