I always wondered who was buying the salted butter
I always wondered who was buying the salted butter
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Thanks for all the helpful advice everyone! I'm going to buy some bananas tomorrow and give it a whirl...
I love baking/cooking threads - so fun to read!
Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...
But the burning question is...will you use salt or no salt?
3746 and counting.
Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.
Salted butter is not the same as unsalted butter with salt added. Salt is a moisture retainer, so the amount of moisture in unsalted butter is different than the amount in the corresponding size of salted butter.
AS for me, I use salted butter 99% of the time, no matter what the recipe calls for, and I use the amount of salt called for in the recipe. No complaints from any of my food testers so far.
I try to get whatever butter a recipe calls for. But, if I have salted butter, I still add the salt, just a bit less.
Milanessa, baking can be tricky. With general cooking amounts are not critical. With baking it's almost like chemistry - and the amounts/sifting/kind of flour is critical. My Italian grandma taught me to cook. She cooked by throwing handfulls of things into a pot, tasting it and adjusting. How she managed to be a great baker is beyond me! But, she passed her techniques on to me. My daughter, however, makes chicken and rice and beans. My son is an excellent cook.
Why would anyone use salted butter in the first place, let alone add salt to salted butter for a recipe calls for unsalted butter?
We (North Americans, that is) get more than enough salt in our diet as it is, and you can't be certain how much salt is already in salted butter.
Salted butter preserves it longer, though for modern people using a refrigerator it's such a minor difference as not to matter. It's actually not enough salt in the salted butter to really affect the taste much when it's used in cooking, but unsalted butter is still preferred.
The #1 reason people "fail" at baking (including people who are absolutely astonishing cuisine cooks, including pros) is baking is method, cooking is art. In culinary school the instructors would even say they could spot a baker in the students a mile off (one teacher referred to me as "methodical.") You have to be really careful, especially with raised doughs, to follow the directions. Never change ratios or make substitutions unless you're very sure what you're doing as it will completely change your results. It probably has the most math of all culinary courses, too--in baking, they're formulas, not recipes, for a reason.
Even then, weather, temperature, humidity, oven variations can all screw with you and you wind up with things not coming out how they should. Ingredient quality can vary, too (if your chemical leaveners are old, things won't rise like they should, the wrong flour can seriously alter the texture, swapping out kinds of sugar is basically altering the wet ingredients, if you use eggs that are bigger or smaller than called for you'll get weird things with the protein...) Baking can be really hard. (I still prefer it to cuisine, but I get why there are people who just hate it.)
Unsalted butter tastes bland to. I only get unsalted if I know I will use it all for baking.
While making cakes and pastry is very much like science, baking biologically leavened bread (yeast, sourdough) is both art and science. You can 'feel' when a dough is kneaded enough, and feel and se when it has risen enough (for instance temperature has a huge impact on how long bread should rest).
My mom always makes her own bread, and I 'helped' from a very young age. It is something that is best learned from a master
Oh, and check the expiration date on your yeast (and make sure, though this is more a problem for those of us using vintage and antique cookbooks, that it's the right KIND of yeast-the directions for fresh yeast and packeted dry yeast and instant yeast are different.)
Really, baking sets out to make you be as anal as possible...and then little things will still get you. You just keep practicing. My mother never really was taught by anyone but she makes great bread (really makes, I mean, there are no bread machines in our house.)
My grandmother could bake wonderful cookies -- I can't remember the name of the ones that were like biscotti -- by grabbing handfuls of flour and sugar, and she used whatever eggs were in the house. I never understood how this worked. Nothing she baked was delicate, but everything was great. She also baked a mean challah, but stopped when her arthritis got bad.
"This, after all, is opera, opera in New York, not some dainty pastime like professional hockey..." -- Chip Brown, NYT Magazine 24 Mar 13
Yeah. As another example, I discovered the hard way that melted butter is no substitute for softened butter. I don't have the patience for baking. When I decide to bake (which is rare) I want to bake now. I do not want to wait for my butter to soften.
I bought the Tassajara Bread Book 2 or so years ago. The instructions for making a loaf of bread were absolutely wonderful, and it turned out to be easy. Until I moved to China, I baked my own bread every weekend. I highly recommend the book.
Sourdough was harder. The loaf I made wasn't nearly as flavorful as I had hoped. I just didn't have the patience to let the starter really ferment the way it needed to