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Best Butter for Baking Pound Cake

How many types of butter are there in common use? / What are the differences?

Butter is a familiar ingredient to bakers. There are more and more brands of butter available on the market, not to mention those who don’t bake often or are new to baking. Even veterans of baking, when faced with Animal butter, Vegetable butter, Organic butter, Salted butter, Unsalted butter, Fermented butter, White butter, Flaked butter, Anhydrous butter …… in the supermarket, they don’t know how to choose!

Animal butter VS. Margarine

Animal butter is also customarily referred to as cream or butter. When we say butter, we are generally referring to animal butter, which is a fat extracted from milk and has a natural mellow milk flavour, with a fat percentage of about 80% and the remaining components being mainly water and milk.

At room temperature, butter is a soft, pale yellow paste that melts into a liquid state when heated above 34°C. Butter in different states has different uses.

Softened butter is whipped and filled with air to make fluffy and delicious biscuits, pound cakes, muffins and more.

Melted butter in liquid form, most typically used for making Madeleines, Fernandes and sponge cakes.

  • Soften the butter by taking it out of the fridge and leaving it at room temperature for a few moments, or heating it in the microwave for a few seconds, or heating it under warm water until you can easily poke holes in it with your fingers.
  • Melt the butter by heating it in the microwave or over hot water to melt it into a liquid state.

Margarine is not derived from milk, but is made by hydrogenating vegetable oil and adding artificial flavourings. Vegetable butter contains trans fatty acids, which are harmful to the heart and brain, so try to eat less or not to use vegetable butter, and vegetarians can choose healthy vegetable fats such as coconut oil instead.

When buying pre-packaged baked goods, make it a habit to check the ingredients list and if the ingredients show margarine, hydrogenated vegetable oil, etc., drop it.

Fermented butter

Fermented butter, a type of animal butter, is available in salted or unsalted versions. Fermented butter is produced with the addition of fermented strain powder or fermented bacterium strains. You can tell if you are buying fermented butter by the ingredient list description on the packaging.

Fermented butter has a lactic aroma similar to that of fermented yoghurt and is a little lighter in colour than regular butter. Perhaps because of its lower melting point, it has a melt-in-your-mouth texture when eaten raw and is less greasy.

Fermented butter and regular butter can be used interchangeably, but with different flavours. Products with a small amount of butter are basically indistinguishable, such as toast. However, products that use more butter, such as biscuits and pound cake, will have a somewhat different flavour.

Biscuits made with fermented butter have a fresh, soft flavour and a lubricious texture, while those made with regular butter have a stronger, creamier flavour and even a milky taste.

Unsalted butter

As the name implies, it is unsalted, unsalted butter. Because it is light, it is easier to control the salt or sugar content of the food you make and is suitable for most baked products such as biscuits, pound cake, bread and omelettes. Different brands of butter can vary in flavour due to differences in milk sources and processes.

Salted butter

This means that butter with a salty, salty flavour has a salt content of approximately 1.5% (i.e. 3.5oz of butter, containing 0.05oz of salt) The moisture content is not very different from unsalted butter.

It is great for frying steaks, roasting corn and smearing bread. Even if it is sometimes used for other pastry with a high sugar content, it is possible to use salted butter instead of unsalted butter when the amount of butter is not particularly high and it is generally not eaten, for example in bread, salted biscuits and other foods containing salt.

However, if a large amount of butter is used, it is advisable to reduce the amount of salt in the recipe, considering avoiding excessive salt intake.

Flaky butter

Flaky butter, also known as shortening or anhydrous butter, has a fat content of 99.9% to 100% and very low or no water content.

Flaky butter is more commonly used for shortening products such as soufflés, crepes and danishes.

Because it is sliced evenly, it is easier to open the pastry; secondly, it has a higher melting point than ordinary butter, which reduces the possibility of oil leakage during the opening and pressing process and increases the success rate of the production.

White butter

The white butter mentioned here is also animal butter, which is purer and therefore whiter in colour. The most readily available white butter on the internet is Alpine, which is a fermented butter with a fresher flavour.

White butter is most commonly used for laminating, especially for Korean laminating, which requires a high level of colour mixing, as it is white and not yellowish, making it easy to mix accurate, good-looking and low-saturation colours.

Organic Butter

With organic butter, the environmental requirements for organic production have been followed from the time the cows are farmed. To produce a block of butter, much more milk is used than to produce ordinary butter, the refining is so pure that not a drop of water can be added. The taste is the most original taste of milk, without any addition or fermentation process, so there is no fermented lactic acid taste.

Although it can be more expensive than regular butter, there are still many health conscious people who choose to buy it.

Now you know how to choose the right butter for baking!

Next time we describe how to store butter properly.

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