I use salted butter probably because I was brought up with it, and most of my recipes are old ones. Plus I don't have enough recipes that call for unsalted. Yesterday I used a new shortbread recipe that called for it, but I just used salted butter and skipped adding the 1/2 tsp of salt the recipe called for. The weird part was that the recipe called for super fine sugar and I knew I had some downstairs so I ran down and got it. Measured it out, poured it into the butter and beat it in. Got some on my finger and thought it tasted different, not bad, just different. Tested it again, then looked at the package. I'd used Redpath quick set sugar, for jams and jellies! I checked out the ingredients, it contains citric acid and pectin as well as sugar. The shortbread turned out pretty good though!
Here is a cut and past from the on-line version of The Joy of Cooking:
Quote:Butter is made from churned sweet cream and in the United States must contain at least 80 percent butterfat. Butter also contains water and milk solids. Sometimes a coloring agent (Annatto) is added to salted butter to give it a deep yellow color. In the U.S. butter is graded by letter code according to flavor, color, texture, aroma and body. AA, A, and B are the letter codes used. Grade AA (I use Land O Lakes brand) will give you maximum results in your baking because of its sweet aroma and flavor as well as its smooth creamy texture.
Butter comes in two forms salted and unsalted. Salt is added to butter for flavor and as a preservative so it will have a longer shelf life. However, salt can overpower the sweet flavor of the butter and can also mask any odors. Salted butter also contains higher water content.
I prefer to use unsalted butter because of its taste (fresher and more delicate flavor). Also, the amount of salt added to salted butter varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and it is hard to know how much extra salt to add to your recipe. The rule of thumb is that if you are substituting salted for unsalted butter in a recipe, omit the extra salt in the recipe (i.e. Omit ¼ teaspoon of salt per ½ cup of butter). Unsalted butter has a short shelf life because it contains no preservatives. Most butter has an expiry date on it. However, if you buy unsalted butter and do not use it right away, it is best to freeze it. You can freeze butter for around six months if it is well wrapped so that it will not pick up odors. Just make sure you defrost the butter overnight in the refrigerator before using it.
Never use whipped butter in baking as it has air whipped into it that changes the volume of the butter.
Butter adds flavor and texture to your baking and helps to keep it fresh. It is used as an ingredient in baking but can also be melted and brushed on baking pans to prevent sticking. The temperature of the butter is very important in baking. When room temperature butter is used in your recipe this means your butter should be between 65 and 70 degrees F. This temperature allows the maximum amount of air to be beaten into your batter. This creaming or beating of your butter or butter and sugar creates air bubbles that your leavener (baking powder or baking soda) will enlarge during baking. Most experts recommend 4 to 5 minutes of creaming the butter.
Cold butter is used in some baking (pie crusts). With this method the butter is not absorbed as much by the starch in the flour and layers result when baked thus creating flakiness.
From the Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-a...ted/index.html
Unsalted butter vs. salted
Q: What's the deal with salted and unsalted
Butter comes two ways: salted and unsalted.
Salt is added to butter for flavor and as a preservative so it will have a
longer shelf life. Salt, however, can sometimes overpower the sweet flavor of
the butter and can also mask odors. Additionally, the amount of salt added to
salted butter varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it's hard to know how
much extra salt you're adding to a recipe. Using unsalted butter allows the chef
to control the amount of salt in a recipe.
If you have no choice but to use salted butter in a recipe, the rule of thumb
is to omit about 1/4 teaspoon salt per 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter.
Unsalted butter has a short shelf life because it contains no preservatives.
If you buy unsalted butter and do not use it right away, it is best to freeze
it. If properly wrapped so it won't pick up any odors, butter can be frozen for
around six months. Just remember to defrost the butter overnight in the
refrigerator before using it.
-Food Network Kitchens
Sounds like the same person wrote both or there's a little plagiarism going on.
3746 and counting.
Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.
I've also found that you can often reduce the sugar significantly, and not compromise the texture of a cake or cookie at all.
The only ingredient I do adjust, in baking, is flour when I'm baking cookies. If the batter feels to wet, I'll add flour until it feels right. I don't like cookies to spread too thin and get too crisp.
as a side note, flour also contains different amount of protein depending on where you are - all purpose flour in general has higher gluten content in the US than in Denmark because the growing conditions of wheat are different. In fact, in the 80s one of the brand name flours sold 'American flour' which was flour with added American flour to increase the gluten content. My mom says she can feel the difference in her breads when she visits and bakes.
Made 3 batches of fudge last night. One bittersweet with cinnamon, one semisweet, one milk chocolate. All called for salt. I did not put the salt in. I like the texture better without it. And, there already is salt in commercial chocolate. I like to give little boxes of homemade fudge with my holiday tips. And my daughter's fiance's brother loves fudge!
I needed ripe bananas fast today for a cake I was going to bake. I googled it, and it said to heat the oven to 300 degrees, put the bananas on a cookie sheet and bake for one hour. It worked great!
I'm baking the banana cake that I mentioned at the top of this thread, used salted butter and added the amount of salt called for. It is cooling now, and then we shall see...
Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...
It turned out very well! Very moist and good banana flavor. I didn't have the ingredients at home to make the frosting recipe that goes with the cake, so I make a very light glaze with just a titch of coconut emulsion in it. The coconut goes well with the banana flavor, and my neighbors loved it!
Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...
Great tip! I wonder if there is a similar method for avocados. One always needs to plan ahead by a few days to make sure they are sufficiently right for guacamole, but sometimes, dammit, I want to make some NOW
Here's another "baking" question. I'm going to be making Oreo Truffles (thank you Prancer for the recipe that you posted long ago). I tried a test batch and the only issue I ran into was melting the chocolate chips to dip the truffles in. It was a bit too thick and I wanted to thin the chocolate out a bit and wasn't sure the best way to go about doing that.