This is the start of a new series here at The Corner Blog @ Magic + Main where I give you some tips and tricks about baking. I don’t claim to know it all but I have been baking for many years and have learned a thing or two.
(and I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two. Sorry. That has nothing to do with this post. I just was channeling my inner… insurance company. Whatever… don’t mind me. Lol)
I’m also doing it because I need to put myself on a baking timeout. I could bake every single day. I really could but my problem lies within the eating part of it. I have found myself slipping more and more the last couple months on my meal plan and it’s causing me to have this lingering final 5lbs. that just won’t come off. I only say this because I’m trying to hold myself accountable. I said it out loud. Now I must act on it.
So now for the tip…
My mom once told me that she uses salted butter for everything and won’t spend the money buying “special butter” for her baking. (She bakes like I do) I looked at her in horror (as I shoved another cookie in my mouth) and said that so far she’s gotten lucky but she should change her butter buying ways.
I figured that some of you may feel the same way about butter. So I am here to tell you why you should make the switch to baking with unsalted butter. And if you’re going to use salted butter, what you need to do to compensate for it.
What’s the big deal with using salted butter?
Well first off, all butter makers use a different amount of salt in their butter. So it’s never a controlled amount. You could make some cookies one day and again the next and they could taste different if you used two different brands of butter. By using unsalted butter to start you can control the exact amount of salt in the recipe.
By using salted butter in your baked goods, you are actually changing the flavor of the item you’re making. The salt will cover up the flavors and it won’t be nearly as tasty as it could be. Instead of getting that sweet cream flavor (that we all love), you’re going to get a more salty one. And who wants a salty cupcake? (unless that cupcake is like salted caramel and then it’s ok but still use unsalted butter. lol)
Just remember, baking is a science and you need to be careful how much of the ingredients go in there. Too much flour or sugar will change how your cookies turn out and salt is absolutely no different.
What if all I have is salted butter? What then?
If all you have is salted butter (and even I have been there) then use what you have but omit any salt from the rest of the recipe. This will at the very least cut down on the salt and things should turn out ok. It’s still the best practice to use unsalted but this will work in a pinch.
BONUS BUTTER TIP
Your recipe calls for room temperature butter and you either forgot to take it out or if you’re like me, you decided spur of the moment that you wanted cookies at 10pm.
Take a glass of water and put it in the microwave and bring the water to a boil. Dump out the water and place it over the stick of butter. It won’t take long; maybe 20-30 seconds and it will bring your butter to room temperature.
Don’t forget, there is a difference between room temperature and warm butter. You should be able to push into the butter and leave an indent but it shouldn’t be squishy.
If you have any baking questions or want me to cover something specific let me know in the comments. I just thought this was a good way for me to still, at the very least, talk about baking. Even though I still want to make some cookies…
Off I go to workout… have a good one everyone!