Understanding Baking With Butter
Free Range Butter

Understanding Baking With Butter

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Understanding Baking With Butter

Maybe you don't consider yourself a baking expert, but you're eager to learn some new skills. Maybe you're just getting started and aren't quite sure how to break into the world of from-scratch baking. No matter where you are in your baking journey, one thing's for sure: you're going to be working with butter.

A flavorful source of fat and an essential ingredient in many baked goods, butter is a baker's best friend. But even for the most experienced bakers, butter can be fickle at times: it melts quickly in a hot kitchen but seems to take forever to soften when you need it to, for example. And what's the deal with salted vs. unsalted butter? Which should you be baking with? Get all your questions about butter answered once and for all so that you can bake with confidence.


1. What is Grass-Fed Butter?

Does the butter you bake with make a difference? The short answer: absolutely. Unlike a lot of butter sold in the United States, Nellie's Free Range Butter comes from grass-fed cows. You might have noticed this label in the meat section of your local grocery store. But what does it mean? Read on to learn why grass-fed cows like ours tend to produce darker, more flavorful butter that makes for tastier baked goods.


2. Salted vs. Unsalted Butter

There are two types of butter sold at most grocery stores: salted and unsalted. If you've ever tasted them side by side, you probably didn't notice a huge difference, but each type has its unique benefits and uses. For example: did you know that the majority of baked good recipes call for unsalted butter? Read on to learn why.


3. Everything You Want to Know About Butterfat

In the same way that the diet of a cows affects the flavor of her butter, the amount of butterfat in that butter makes a huge difference in the way it tastes. European-style butter like Nellie's Free Range Butter contain a higher percentage of butterfat than most butter sold in the United States, which means it contains less water. Since fat is flavor, higher butterfat = more flavor. Read on to dive deeper into the importance of butterfat in your baking.


4. How to Cream Butter and Sugar Perfectly Every Time

One of the most common steps for making cookie dough is creaming butter and sugar. With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer on hand, doing so should be a breeze—but a lot of novice bakers don't realize just how long it takes for the two ingredients to fully combine. Read on to learn why thorough creaming is important and which visual cues to look for in your mixing bowl.


5. 3 Foolproof Ways to Cut In Butter

If you've ever made pie dough from scratch, you've probably heard the term "cut in" in relation to butter and flour. In order to achieve a beautifully flaky crust, butter has to be worked into flour and broken down into tiny pieces without becoming too soft. This is where many novice bakers run into issues; if the butter softens during the process of being cut into flour, you may end up with a flat, soft pie crust rather than a layered, crispy one. Read on and learn how to avoid common mistakes.


6. How to Brown Butter

Brown butter offers an amazing depth of flavor to everything from chocolate chip cookies to savory dishes like pasta. When you "brown" butter, you're essentially toasting the milk solids that are found in butter (they make up about 1-2% of it). These toasted milk solids give baked goods a nutty flavor and dark amber color. As long as you keep an eye on the stovetop, browning butter at home couldn't be easier; read on to learn how.


7. 3 Easy Ways to Soften Butter

Ever had a hankering for cookies, then realized that every recipe you can find calls for softened butter? Sometimes thinking ahead isn't really an option. If you ever forget to set out your butter at room temperature ahead of time, read on for our top 3 ways to speed up the process and get your butter softened and ready for baking in no time.


8. How to Make Ghee

Most prominently featured in Indian cuisine, ghee is a fantastic option for dairy-free baking because it doesn't contain any milk solids. This ingredient can be expensive when purchased from the store, but luckily takes just minutes to make at home and involves nothing more than melting, simmering, and straining regular butter. Read on for the full step-by-step process.

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